New Delhi: Ravi Ruia, vice-chairman of Essar Group, on Tuesday filed a petition with the Supreme Court challenging the summons sent to him by the special court hearing the second-generation (2G) spectrum allocation case.
The move comes a day after the Supreme Court took cognizance of Bharti Group chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal’s plea to quash a similar summons to him by the special court.
Ruia, Mittal and Asim Ghosh, former CEO of Hutchison Essar (now Vodafone India Ltd), and now president and chief executive of Canada-based Husky Energy Inc., have been summoned by the special court despite them not featuring in the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI’s) chargesheet on the additional spectrum issue. They were asked to appear before the Patiala House court on 11 April.
O.P. Saini, the judge presiding over the case in Patiala House, issued the summons to Mittal, Ruia and Ghosh saying they were heading the companies involved in the case and thus were responsible for their actions.
Ruia’s counsel is expected to argue that the only basis for the summons was that he chaired some of the meetings of Sterling Cellular Ltd (now part of Vodafone India).
“In fact, Mr Ruia held no executive position in Sterling Cellular Ltd. Further, the Essar Group was only a minority shareholder of Sterling Cellular Ltd. Such a basis where any director is held liable for the acts of the company is contrary to the well-established legal position,” an Essar executive said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
An Essar spokesman declined comment on the grounds that the matter is in court.
On Monday, the Supreme Court had asked the special court to defer the summons on Mittal until it had decided on the case. Its next hearing is on 15 April.