Free Press Journal

2G case: Court to resuming hearing on final arguments in July


New Delhi: A special court today fixed July 14 for hearing the ongoing final arguments in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case in which former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and 15 others including several corporate executives, are facing trial.

The final arguments were scheduled to be heard by Special CBI Judge O P Saini today but the counsel appearing for the accused requested the court that the matter be fixed in July after the summer vacation break. As the proceedings commenced, special public prosecutor Anand Grover told the court that he was ready to advance the arguments.

But the defence counsel said there would be a break of almost four weeks in June due to the summer break and the court was scheduled to hear additional spectrum case next week.

The lawyers said it would be better if the arguments were heard in continuity and requested that the matter be fixed in July after the vacation. Grover did not object to the request of defence counsel

after which the judge fixed the matter for July 14 observing that two separate matters would be listed for hearing after reopening of the court.

Commencing final arguments in the case on April 15, the CBI had alleged that Raja had “misled” the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on policy matters pertaining to 2G spectrum allocation in conspiracy with others to favour some firms.

CBI had claimed that favour was done to “ineligible” firms Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd and Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) at the behest of Raja who changed first-come-first -serve (FCFS) policy to suit them.

It had said that the cut-off date for receiving applications from applicants seeking radio waves was advanced to favour Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd. On the issue of granting licences allegedly to ineligible firms, CBI had said that STPL was ineligible on the date of application for grant of radio waves as it was “actually owned by Tiger Traders Pvt Ltd through Reliance ADAG”.

The recording of evidence in the case had started on November 11, 2011, after the court had framed charges against the 17 accused named in the first two charge sheets filed by the agency.

In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.

Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) — Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair — are facing trial in the case.

Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Managing Director Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also accused in the case.

Besides these 14 accused persons, three telecom firms — Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd — are also facing trial in the case.

The court had on October 22, 2011, framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating,forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.

The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.