Reliance Telecom Ltd today approached a special CBI court with the plea that it should “await” the outcome of Supreme Court’s proceedings on its petition challenging the summoning of additional witnesses, including Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani and Tina Ambani, before examining it in the 2G case.

The company has filed an application in the court, saying that it would be “just and proper” to await the outcome of the proceedings before the apex court on RTL’s plea in which it had challenged the trial court’s July 19 order in which the court had summoned some additional witnesses while allowing CBI’s plea.

The trial court, in its July 19 order, had said that the CBI’s plea to summon Anil Ambani, Tina Ambani and 11 others as prosecution witnesses was essential for arriving at a just decision in the case.

The court has summoned Anil Ambani and Tina Ambani on August 22 and 23, respectively for recording of their statement in the case.

In its petition filed today, the company said: “it is requested that in the meantime, witnesses other than those forming the subject matter of order dated July 19, 2013 be taken up and examined.”

“The court is requested not to examine the witnesses covered under order dated July 19, 2013 till the time the petition is disposed by the Supreme Court of India,” it said.

Special CBI Judge O.P. Saini has issued a notice to CBI seeking its reply on August 21 on Reliance Telecom Ltd’s (RTL) plea.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for RTL, told the court that the company was not seeking any stay on the trial proceedings but its request was that additional witnesses should not be called on August 19 and 21.

Rohatgi said that the apex court has heard the arguments on the company’s plea on various dates and the matter has now been fixed for August 21 before the Supreme Court.

A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and K.S. Radhakrishnan is hearing the 2G case in the apex court and it had yesterday said that it will continue with the hearing of the petitions related to the case on August 21.

During the hearing, Rohatgi told the court that some of these additional witnesses have already been examined by the court while recording of statements of some of them is scheduled from August 19.

He requested the court to shift the schedule of recording of statements of these new witnesses till August 21, saying that the hearing on their plea before the apex court is listed on that day.

RTL, in its plea, said: “Continuing with the examination of witnesses now permitted by means of order dated July 19, 2013 would render the special leave petition infructuous and would not be appropriate given that Supreme Court is hearing the matters at length and with the greatest expedition.”

It also referred to the adjournment given by trial court in the additional spectrum case, in which Bharti Cellular CMD Sunil Mittal, Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia and others are accused, saying the court had deferred the matter to await the order or clarification from the apex court.

Till the apex court dispose of the company’s plea, the trial court should defer the examination of witnesses who have been summoned in pursuance to the July 19 order, it said, adding that RTL was only seeking minor accommodation in the interest of trial.

The judge, however, told Rohatgi and CBI that he does not have any problem in shifting the dates for recording of evidence of additional witnesses but said that some other witnesses should remain present in the court on that day.

RTL, along with others, including former Telecom Minister A. Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, is facing trial in 2G case.

(This article was published on August 17, 2013)
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