Airtel and Essar chief’s 2G spectrum case hearing on April 29

Telecom Lead India: Airtel and Essar chief’s 2G spectrum case will be on April 29.

A Delhi court has posted for April 29 the hearing of the case relating to alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum in which Bharti Airtel chief Sunil Mittal and Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia were summoned.

Mittal, Ruia and former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh on Monday appeared before the court following summons issued to them in the case.

Special CBI Judge O.P. Saini adjourned the case till April 29 in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s April 18 order.

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On April 18, the apex court had postponed the case pending before the trial court till April 29 after Justice A.R. Dave had recused from hearing the case.

Justice Vikramajit Sen of the Supreme Court had earlier also recused himself from hearing the case

The pleas of Mittal and Ruia, filed in the apex court, challenged the 2G special court’s summons, IANS reported.

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The special court had summoned the top executives to appear before it in connection with alleged excess spectrum allocation during the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance regime in 2002.

Judge Saini on Monday marked the presence of Mittal, Ruia and Shyamal Ghosh and said: “In view of order dated April 18 of the Supreme Court, the matter is adjourned for April 29”.

It also extended the personal bonds furnished by Mittal and Ruia on April 16, till the next date of hearing.

One of the accused, Canada-based NRI Asim Ghosh, who was then managing director of accused firm, Hutchison Max Telecom, is yet to be served summons issued against him in the case.

The trial court issued summons after taking cognizance of the chargesheet filed against mobile firms Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Sterling Cellular for the alleged irregularities.

On December 21 last year, the CBI named Shyamal Ghosh and the three telecom firms as accused in the 57-page chargesheet for criminal conspiracy as also under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act for causing a loss of about Rs 846 crore to the exchequer.

The agency told the court that additional spectrum was allotted July 17, 2002, to Bharti Cellular (now Bharti Airtel) and Sterling Cellular (now Vodafone Mobile Service) for the Delhi metro area, and Hutchison Max (now Vodafone India) for the Mumbai metro area.


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