New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Wednesday issued notices to former telecom minister A. Raja, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader M. Kanimozhi and others in the appeal moved by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against their acquittal in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

A bench comprising justice S.P. Garg also directed maintenance of status quo with respect to property worth Rs223 crore attached by the ED at the time of trial.

The appeal will be heard on 25 May after replies from all accused persons is received.

CBI and ED filed earlier this week filed an appeal in the high court, challenging a December order by a special CBI court that acquitted all the accused in the 2G case.

On 21 December 2017, 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. Nineteen accused charged under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) were also acquitted as prosecution had failed to establish any “proceeds of crime".

Apart from Raja and Kanimozhi , 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, its director (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.

Key accused in ED’s PMLA case were Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV (P) Ltd, DB Realty Ltd and Swan Telecom Pvt. Ltd.

In 2009, CBI had filed an FIR against “unknown officers" of DoT and unknown private persons/companies for alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum during the tenure of Raja as telecom minister. CAG later claimed that the allocation led to a presumptive loss of Rs1.76 trillion to the exchequer.

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