Free Press Journal

Surplus spectrum: Order on jurisdiction of 2G court on July 23


2G Scam

New Delhi: The “complicated” nature of the 2002 additional spectrum allocation case today once again led a special 2G court to defer its order on pleas filed by two telecom firms, chargesheeted along with others by the CBI, challenging its jurisdiction to deal with the matter.

This was the second time when the court has deferred the pronouncement of its order on the issue after reserving it on July six. “Heard. Order not ready on account of complex and complicated nature of the case. Put up for order on July 23,” Special CBI Judge O P Saini said today.

While the two firms – M/s Hutchison Max(P) Ltd and M/s Sterling Cellular Ltd, maintain that the court does not have jurisdiction over this case as it does not relate to 2G spectrum allocation scam, CBI opposes the jurisdiction issue saying the case was very much part of 2G scam. The agency had told the court that the case was among the various matters being monitored by Supreme Court in connection with the 2G scam.

The firms had challenged the special court’s jurisdiction on the ground that their case did not relate to the 2G spectrum scam, saying the special court was constituted to deal with matters pertaining only to 2G scam and additional spectrum case was not covered under it.

The accused had argued that they never got licence in the period 2001 to 2008, which is under probe by CBI on the apex court’s direction and were already an existing licensee. Former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms — Hutchison Max, Sterling and Bharti Cellular Ltd, were chargesheeted by CBI in the case relating to the Department of Telecommunications allocating additional spectrum that had allegedly resulted in a loss of Rs 846 crore to the exchequer.

The special court was earlier informed that the Supreme Court had quashed the order summoning Bharti Cellular Ltd CMD Sunil Bharti Mittal and Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia as accused in the case.

Besides Mittal, Ruia and Ghosh, the special court had also summoned Canada-based NRI Asim Ghosh, who was then a Managing Director of Hutchison Max Pvt Ltd, as an accused.