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SC to hear Mittal, Ruia plea against summons May 1

Posted on Apr 23 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, April 23 : The Supreme Court Wednesday said it would hear May 1 a plea by Sunil Mittal of Bharti Airtel and Ravikant Ruia of Essar challenging their being summoned to appear before a 2G special court in connection with the excess spectrum allocation scam during the BJP-led NDA regime in 2002.

The bench of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan said that along with the plea by Mittal and Ruia, it will also take up the Aircell Maxi case wherein there are allegations of quid pro quo on the role of former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran in the controversial deal.

Maran faces allegations that he forced Sivasankaran - the original owner of Aircel - to sell his stakes to Malaysia-based Maxis owned by T. Ananda Krishnan.

It is alleged that after Sivasankaran sold his stakes to Maxis, the Mauritius-based company made big investment in the Maran family-owned Sun Direct channel.

Counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for NGO CPIL told the court that ever since the apex court order of 2013, the trial against the two in the excess spectrum allocation scam have not proceeded.

As Bhushan pressed for the modification of the 2013 order so that trial could proceed, Justice Dattu said counsel Harish Salve has sought accommodation and in his absence order would not be modified.

Justice Dattu said it would be taken up May 1 as item No.1 and only after hearing both Bhushan and Salve, the court would take a call on modifying the order.

The 2G special court headed by Additional Sessions Judge O.P. Saini had summoned Mittal and Ruia, along with five others, in connection with the allocation of excess spectrum during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime in 2002.

The trial court issued summons after taking cognizance of the charge sheet filed by CBI against Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Sterling Cellular for the alleged irregularities.

Mittal and Ruia contended that the order of the 2G special court trying the 2G cases was contrary to the judgments of the apex court.

They said they could not be proceeded against merely because they were the directing minds and alter ego of the companies they presided over.

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