Info-tech

Loop case: 2G special court summons 8 chargesheeted, including Ruias

Arun S. New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on December 21, 2011

A Special Court hearing the 2G spectrum case on Wednesday asked the eight chargesheeted accused including Essar Group's Mr Ravikant Ruia and Mr Anshuman Ruia to appear before it on January 27.

This followed the court taking cognisance of the chargesheet that the CBI had filed on December 12 before it on the alleged Essar-Loop transactions.

The eight chargesheeted, who have been issued summons by the court are three companies — Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd (earlier shippingstop.com), Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Teleholdings Ltd — and five individuals including the Ruias, Mr Vikash Saraf, Director (Strategy and Planning), Essar Group, as well as Loop Telecom promoters Ms Kiran Khaitan (reportedly related to the Ruias) and her husband Mr I.P. Khaitan. The CBI had levelled charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy against all.

The Special Court said that summons for the three chargesheeted companies should be served through their directors, adding that the companies may appoint authorised representatives for the trial.

There was a technicality that since the charges were only of cheating and criminal conspiracy and not those under the Prevention of Corruption Act, any magistrate's court could take cognisance of the matter. But the CBI chose to file the chargesheet before the Special Court since the latter was set up expressly on the directions of the Supreme Court to hear the 2G spectrum cases.

Therefore, the Special Court had to decide on whether to take cognisance of the chargesheet or transfer it to a magistrate's court.

However, the Special Judge chose to go by the Delhi High Court notification of March 2011 that allowed trial on all 2G cases to go on in the Special Court. The Special Judge also went by Section 194 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which empowers Additional and Assistant Sessions Judges to try cases made over to them by general or special order, or as the High Court may, by special order, direct him to try.

The Special Court, after going through the chargesheet and with 398 files, over 22,000 documents and the names of 100 prosecution witnesses, was satisfied that a prima facie case had been made out against the eight chargesheeted and hence decided to summon them.

The allegation against Essar is that though it had substantial stake in Vodafone Essar, it set up Loop Telecom as a front company or an ‘alter ego', in violation of the existing norms to illegally obtain additional spectrum. Essar has denied all charges.

In a statement, the Essar Group said it was surprised that the special court has taken cognisance of the matter even though there is no charge of corruption made by the CBI. “Essar will take further legal recourse to defend its position,” it said.

>arun.s@thehindu.co.in



Published on December 21, 2011
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