New Delhi:The Delhi high court on Friday deferred the hearing on an appeal moved by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the acquittal of the accused, including former telecom minister A. Raja and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader M. Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
The appeal against the acquittals by the CBI will be heard on 10 August, while ED’s plea will come up for hearing on 6 August.
The CBI’s appeal against the acquittal of Essar promoters, Ravi Kant Ruia, Anshuman Ruia and Loop Telecom, will be taken up on 2 August.
A bench comprising justice S.P. Garg asked the respective parties to file their replies before the next hearings.
On 21 March, a notice was issued to A. Raja and Kanimozhi, besides others against their acquittals in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, by the high court.
Justice Garg had also directed a status quo with respect to the properties worth Rs223 crore attached by the ED at the time of trial.
In April, notices were also issued to the Essar promoters and Loop Telecom in the CBI appeal against their acquittal.
The trial court had failed to appreciate the evidence placed on record by the CBI to prove that a conspiracy was hatched for obtaining spectrum licence.
On 21 December, special CBI judge O.P. Saini had exonerated 17 accused persons from charges under the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act due to lack of evidence. The 19 accused, charged under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), were also acquitted as the prosecution had failed to establish any “proceeds of crime".
Apart from Raja and Kanimozhi , the other accused were Raja’s former private secretary R.K. Chandolia, Reliance Group managing director Gautam Doshi, its senior vice-president Hari Nair, president Surendra Pipara, Swan Telecom Pvt. Ltd promoter Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd managing director Sanjay Chandra, Essar Group promoters Anshuman and Ravi Ruia, the group’s director of strategy and planning Vikas Saraf, Loop Telecom Pvt. Ltd promoters Kiran Khaitan and her husband I.P. Khaitan. Loop Telecom, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding Ltd were also tried.
The key accused in ED’s PMLA case were Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV (P) Ltd, DB Realty Ltd and Swan Telecom Pvt. Ltd.
In 2009, the CBI had filed an FIR against “unknown officers" of DoT and unknown private persons, or companies, for alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum during the tenure of Raja as the telecom minister.