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HC reserves order on plea seeking early hearing in 2G case

Tuesday - September 22, 2020 6:27 pm , Category : INDIA
New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday reserved its order on a petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking early hearing of its leave to appeal application against the acquittal of the accused persons in the 2G spectrum case.
After hearing the arguments of all the accused persons and the probe agencies, a single judge bench of the high court presided over by Justice Brijesh Sethi reserved its order.
During the course of hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, representing the probe agencies, submitted that substantial public time has already been consumed and since Justice Sethi, who is hearing the matter currently, is all set to demit office in November, the matter should be heard immediately.
"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," said the ASG while responding to the submissions made by the counsels of the accused persons, who had opposed the petition for early hearing saying that they won't get required time to put forth their stand if the matter is hurried.
"It's my duty to unravel the truth," said Sethi while hearing the submissions made by Jain and, adding that in his last four years at the high court, he had never stopped a counsel from arguing.
Jain refuted the submissions made by the counsel for the accused persons that the matter has its records running into many pages and required assistance from the accused parties would not be possible given the pandemic situation.
Earlier on Monday, the counsel for the accused persons had opposed the plea moved by the agencies. Advocate Manu Sharma appearing for former Telecom Minister A. Raja argued that there was no cause to grant an out-of-turn, urgent hearing to the appeals moved by the CBI and the ED amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Advocates Vijay Aggarwal, Mudit Jain and Ashul Agarwal, representing Shahid Balwa and several others, too opposed the said petition and said the CBI did not explain as to why the appeal was filed and why it should be given precedence/preference over other appeals.
The probe agencies, both CBI and ED, moved the court in March 2018 challenging a trial court's order which had acquitted all the accused in the 2G spectrum case.
In 2017, a special CBI court acquitted all the 18 accused persons, including Raja and K. Kanimozhi, in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
The scam came to light almost seven years ago when the Comptroller and Auditor General in a report held then Telecom Minister Raja responsible for causing the state exchequer a loss of Rs 1,76,379 crore by allocating 2G spectrum licences at throwaway prices.
However, the trial court found that the prosecution failed to prove the charges.

--IANS anb/arm