By Sushil Batra
New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday ordered day to day hearing in the 2G appeal case while allowing the plea of CBI and ED seeking early hearing on their appeal challenging the acquittal of all the accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case.
A single-judge bench of Justice Brijesh Sethi stated that hearing in this regard will commence from October 5 on a day-to-day basis, till further order.
All the respondents in the matter including former Telecom Minister A Raja, businessman Shahid Balwa and others had strongly opposed the application of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) for early hearing in the 2G appeal case in Delhi High Court.
Advocate Sanjay Jain, Additional Solicitor General (ASG), who appeared for CBI, argued that the matter has a substantial public interest and as the judge who has heard the matter is due to demit office on November 30 this year, the court may grant an early hearing and hear the matter expeditiously.
Advocate Manu Sharma appearing for A Raja has argued that there was no cause to grant an out-of-turn urgent hearing to the appeals moved by CBI and ED amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The investigation agency has only spoken about public interest in their application but has not substantiated the same with arguments, he said.
Advocate Vijay Aggarwal along with Advocates Mudit Jain and Anshul Agarwal representing Shahid Balwa and several others have vehemently opposed the application and stated that CBI has not explained as to why the appeal filed by them should be given precedence over appeals against conviction due to which the accused persons are languishing in jail especially for the year.
Aggarwal has also submitted that allowing the application for the early hearing shall be against the interest of justice as the respondents will not be afforded adequate opportunity since the records run into lakhs of pages.
He has said each person will not even get sufficient time to argue his or her case as the judge is scheduled to demit his office in November. "Justice hurried is justice buried," he added.
Advocate Tarannum Cheema, appearing for Sanjay Chandra, had argued that her client is in Tihar jail in another matter and has not been served with a copy of the application. Other advocates appearing for the respondents in the case also argued that the application is misconceived.
The CBI has also sought advancing the hearing of the appeal challenging the acquittal of Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters IP Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan and four others in a separate case arising out of the 2G scam probe.
A special court of Delhi had in Judgement passed on December 21, 2017 acquitted Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others in CBI and ED cases related to the scam.
The special had acquitted all the accused in the matter including DMK's then chief M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, Businessmen Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, film producer Karim Morani, P Amirtham and Sharad Kumar, Director of Kalaignar TV in the ED case.
The same court in its judgement had also acquitted court had former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja's erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra and three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair, in the CBI's 2G case.
Justice Brijesh Sethi, who is hearing the appeal of ED and CBI against the trial court order which acquitted all the accused in the 2G case, had recently issued notice to all respondents to file reply on the early hearing plea filed by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED). (ANI)
By Sushil Batra