New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) The Delhi High Court will on Tuesday pronounce its verdict on the petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking an 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 had reserved its order on September 22.
While the matter was being heard, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, representing the probe agencies, submitted that substantial public time has already been consumed and since Justice Sethi 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,” the ASG said while responding to the submissions made by the counsels of the accused persons, who had opposed the petition for early hearing saying that if there would be hurry, the accused won’t get the required time to put forth their stand.
“It’s my duty to unravel the truth,” said the judge while hearing the submissions made by Jain and also added that in his last four years at the high court, he had never stopped a counsel from arguing.
Jain further refuted the submissions made by the counsel for the accused persons that the matter has its records running into many pages and since there is a pandemic situation, the required assistance from the accused parties would not be possible.
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 made 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 stated that CBI has not explained as to why the appeal filed by them should be given precedence/preference over other appeals.
The probe agencies, both the CBI and the ED, had 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 had acquitted all the 18 accused, including A. 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 (CAG) in a report held then Telecom Minister A. 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.