2G case: Delhi HC to hear pleas against acquittals from Oct 5
The Delhi High Court will from October 5 hear on day-to-day basis the ED and CBI appeals against the acquittal of the accused in the 2G spectrum case.
Justice Brijesh Sethi passed an order to this effect while allowing the applications for early hearing filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
After hearing the arguments of all the accused and the two agencies, the court had reserved its order on September 22.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain -- who represented the ED and CBI -- submitted that substantial public time had already been consumed and pressed for the immediate hearing of the matter since Justice Sethi, who is handling the case, is all set to demit office in November.
"A Judge can always decide how much time is required to hear a matter... if genuine efforts are made and assistance is rendered, it's possible to take this matter to a logical conclusion," the ASG said while responding to submissions made by the counsel for the accused, who opposed the petition for early hearing on the ground that the accused won't get required time to put forth their stand in case of hurry.
"It's my duty to unravel the truth," the court remarked while hearing Jain's submissions while pointing out that he had never stopped a counsel from arguing in the last four years at the High Court.
Jain denied the submissions by the accused that case record was bulky and required assistance would not be possible for the accused during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, the accused had opposed the pleas moved by the ED and CBI. Advocate Manu Sharma, appearing for former Union Minister A Raja, argued that there was no cause to grant an out-of-turn urgent hearing to the appeals amid the pandemic.
Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, along with Mudit Jain and Ashul Agarwal, represented Shahid Balwa and several others and opposed the pleas. The counsel said that the CBI has not explained as to why their appeal against acquittal be given precedence or preference over other appeals.
Both agencies moved the court in March 2018 to challenge a Special CBI court's 2017 order to acquit all 18 accused in the 2G spectrum case, including Raja and DMK leader K Kanimozhi.
The scam came to light almost seven years ago when the then Comptroller and Auditor General held in a report that then Telecom Minister Raja was responsible for causing a loss of Rs 1,76,379 crore to the exchequer by allocating 2G spectrum licences at throwaway prices.
The trial court said that the prosecution had failed to prove the charges. The verdict, however, didn't override the Supreme Court judgment or take away from the fact that the licences issued for 2G spectrum allocation were illegal.