2G: Delhi High Court orders notice to Raja, Kanimozhi

New Delhi: The CBI has moved an application in Delhi High Court for early hearing in 2G appeal case. The court has issued notice to former Telecom minister in the UPA regime, A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, both accused in the case, and has fixed the matter for hearing on 30 July.

The High Court had earlier listed the matter for hearing on 24 October. When the plea by CBI was taken up today, a Single Judge Bench of Justice AK Chawla issued notice to all the respondents in CBI’s early hearing application.

“What is the extreme urgency?,” Justice Chawla asked. Standing Counsel Ripu Daman Bhardwaj responded that the case is of national importance. “It has international ramifications,” he added.

The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had moved the Delhi High Court in March 2018 against the acquittal of all accused persons in the 2G scam in December 2017.

In August last year, the court granted more time to Raja, Kanimozhi and others in the 2G spectrum case to file their replies to a CBI plea challenging their acquittal.

Justice Najmi Waziri allowed the pleas of some accused seeking more time to file response on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) petition and listed the matter for 9 October for further hearing. The Unitech had also filed a reply which was taken on record by the court.

The special court on 21 December 2017 had acquitted all accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

While announcing the judgement, special judge O P Saini said the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove the charges against 33 persons named in the case.

Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, the special court had also acquitted 17 others, including late DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal, Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka of STPL, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, film producer Karim Morani, and P Amirtham and Sharad Kumar of Kalaignar TV.

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 and three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) – Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair – were also acquitted by the special court.

NT Bureau