2G scam: SC issues notice to CBI on Reliance Telecom plea

File Photo
File Photo

New Delhi, 1 Aug (PTI): The Supreme Court today sought a response from CBI on petitions filed by Reliance Telecom and the other accused in 2G spectrum allocation scam seeking recall of its order by which other courts were barred from hearing in the case.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda said the issue raised by the accused needs to be heard before taking up other pleas challenging summoning of 13 witnesses including Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani and his wife Tina Ambani.

It also sought a response from Janata Party President Subramanian Sawmy and NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation on whose plea the apex court is monitoring the CBI probe in the muti-crore rupee scam.

The court asked all the parties to file their affidavits within four days.

The bench said it is conscious of the date given by the trial court to witnesses to appear in the court and posted the case for hearing to August 7.

Business tycoon Anil Ambani is to appear before the Special CBI court on August 22 and his wife has been summoned to appear a day after.

The RTL sought recall of the apex court’s April 11, 2011 order which said “any prayer for staying or impeding progress of the trial can be made only before this court and no other courts shall entertain the same”.

The company said in its plea that it amounts to violation of its fundamental rights as the order takes away the right to approach the High Court against the order of the trial court.

It said the order is contrary to law and constitutional provision. Contesting the July 19 order of the special CBI court summoning the Ambani couple to depose as CBI witnesses, RTL also questioned the decision to call new witnesses at such a later stage of trial.

RTL, one of the three companies accused in the case, has challenged the order of special CBI Judge O P Saini who made the ADAG Chairman and his wife prosecution witnesses on CBI’s plea that their testimony would throw light on ADAG’s companies alleged investment of over Rs 990 crore relating to 2G spectrum in Swan Telecom.

RTL has moved the Supreme Court against the trial court’s order as the apex court bench, headed by Justice G S Singhvi, had earlier restrained all other courts, including high court, from entertaining any plea arising out of the 2G scam case.

The trial court had allowed CBI’s plea that the testimony of Anil and Tina Ambani may throw light on alleged investment of over Rs 990 crore by his group companies in Swan Telecom, facing trial in the case along with its promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka.

It had said CBI’s plea to summon Anil Ambani, Tina and 11 others as prosecution witnesses was essential for arriving at a just decision in the case.

Testimony of Anil and Tina is required to prove the facts “pertaining to incorporation of shell companies as some of the witnesses examined earlier have not been able to do so,” the trial court had said.

RADAG’s company RTL is an accused in the case. Three top Reliance ADAG executives Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair are also facing trial in the case.

The agency had alleged RTL used Swan Telecom, an ineligible firm, as its front company to get 2G licenses and the radio waves.


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