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Home / Politics / Policy /  Special CBI court discharges all accused in 2002 additional spectrum scam

New Delhi: A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Thursday discharged all accused in the 2002 additional telecom spectrum scam.

CBI had filed the chargesheet in the case in December 2012 against former telecom secretary Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms—Bharti Cellular Ltd, Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt. Ltd (now known as Vodafone India Ltd) and Sterling Cellular Ltd (now known as Vodafone Mobile Service Ltd).

“As responsible corporate citizens, Bharti Airtel has always maintained highest standards of corporate governance and transparency. The verdict of the Hon’ble special court has vindicated our position on the matter," Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

In a 2013 interim order, the Supreme Court had quashed the summoning of Bharti Cellular Ltd CMD Sunil Bharti Mittal and Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia as accused in the case.

“The trial court’s summoning order, will remain ‘postponed’ until further orders," the apex court had said.

Besides Mittal, Ruia and Shyamal Ghosh, the special court had also summoned Canada-based NRI Asim Ghosh, who was then a managing director of accused firm Hutchison Max Telecom, as accused.

According to the CBI, the department of telecommunications allocating additional spectrum had allegedly resulted in a loss of 846 crore to the exchequer.

Special judge O.P Saini observed that the chargesheet framed by CBI is “false" and “fabricated" and also ordered an inquiry into the role of “erring officers".

The accused in the case were facing charges under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe, for which the punishment could range from six months to life imprisonment.

Shauvik Ghosh contributed to this story.

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