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The Delhi High Court on Friday (April 20) issued notice to seek response of all Essar Group promoters on the CBI’s plea challenging their acquittal in a case arising out of 2G scam case probe.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had moved the Delhi High Court challenging the Special Court judgment acquitting the Ruia brothers and the proprietors of the Loop telecom and Loop Mobiles in connection with the 2G Spectrum allocation scam. In their plea filed through Special Public Prosecutor Sanjeev Bhandari, the CBI had stated that the trial court had failed to appreciate the evidence on record.

The CBI alleged that observations made by the Special Judge while acquitting all accused were “highly unwarranted” unjustified and in any case deserve to be expunged.

This is the second appeal filed by CBI against Ravi Kant Ruia, Anshuman Ruia (both Essar Group Promoters), IP Khaitan, Kiran Khaitan (both Loop Telecom Promoters) & others against their acquittal in the 2G spectrum case with regard to allocation of additional spectrum.

The case is that on 21.10.2009,   the   CBI   registered   an   FIR   vide   RC   DAI  2009   A   0045   against  unknown officials of Department of Telecommunications (DoT),  Govt. of India, unknown private persons/ companies and others  for the offence punishable under Section 120 B IPC read with  Section   13(2)   r/w   13(1)(d)   of   Prevention   of   Corruption   Act,  1988   (PC   Act),   on   allegations   of  criminal   conspiracy   and  criminal misconduct, in respect of allotment of Letters of Intent  CBI Vs. Ravi Kant Ruia and others     Page 2 of 526 (LOI), Unified Access Services (UAS) Licenses and spectrum by  the   DoT.

Investigation of the case was taken up and charge sheet  dated  02.04.2011   and   First   supplementary  charge¬sheet  dated 25.04.2011 were filed before this Court.

 During the period such investigation was in progress  an   SLP   (Civil)   Appeal   no.   24873/2010   was   filed   by   CPIL   &  Others before Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in which Hon’ble  Supreme   Court   of   India   granted   leave   vide   an   order   dated  16.12.2010   and  decided   to   monitor   the   investigation   of   this  case.   Vide   the   aforesaid   order   dated   16.12.2010,

The Supreme Court of India also directed that: “The CBI   shall   conduct   thorough   investigation  into various issues highlighted in the report of the  Central   Vigilance  Commission,   which   was  forwarded to the Director, CBI vide  letter dated  12.10.2009 and the report of the CAG, who have  prima   facie  found   serious   irregularities   in   the  grant   of   licenses   to   122   applicants,   majority   of  whom   are   said   to   be   ineligible,   the  blatant  violation of the terms and conditions of licenses  and   huge   loss   to   the   public   exchequer   running  into several thousand crore. The CBI should also  probe how licenses were granted to large number  of ineligible applicants and who was responsible  for the same and why the TRAI and the DoT did  not take action against those licensees who sold  their stakes/equities for many thousand crore and  also   against   those   who  failed   to   fulfill   roll-out  obligations and comply with other conditions of  license.”

Investigation has been carried out on the allegations  that M/s Loop Telecom Ltd., and associated persons including  Essar group persons / companies, cheated the DoT, Government  of   India   by   concealing   the   actual   stake   holders   of   M/s   Loop  Telecom   Ltd.   behind  a corporate   veil,   while   applying  for  and  getting 21 new UAS Licenses and got the 21 UAS Licenses and  CBI Vs. Ravi Kant Ruia and others valuable spectrum for this company.

Special Judge OP Saini had acquitted Ravikant Ruia, Anshuman Ruia, Ishwari Prasad Khaitan, Vikash Saraf, Essar Teleholdings Limited, Loop Telecom and Loop Mobile India Limited on December 21, 2017.

-India Legal Bureau

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