The Delhi High Court single Judge Bench of Justice Najmi Waziri today, said that it will commence hearing on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) appeal challenging the acquittal of Former Union Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others involved in the 2G Spectrum Case on fast track basis from February 7, 2019.
Expressing displeasure over the delay in commencement of hearing to the appeal due to non filing of responses by some of the accused to CBI's plea, the Court has directed CBI to give complete records to the accused within two weeks and granted six weeks to the accused to file a comprehensive reply.
As per the facts, the alleged 2G scam, came to light during the second term of the UPA government headed by then prime minister Manmohan Singh as one of the major corruption scandals, relating to the grant of 2G spectrum licence allocations in 2007-08, which caused a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the public exchequer according to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
On December 21, 2017, the Special Court judge O.P. Saini, while acquitting all accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case including Raja, Kanimozhi, Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka of STPL, DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal, film producer Karim Morani, and P. Amirtham and Sharad Kumar of Kalaignar TV, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R.K. Chandolia, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, 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, had observed that the Enforcement Directorate(ED) and the CBI had failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove the charges against 33 persons named in the case, following which the central probe agency filed a plea in the High Court challenging the acquittal by the special court. A similar plea has also been filed by the Enforcement Directorate in the High Court.
In its plea, it was contended by the CBI that the special Court had failed to appreciate the evidence it had put forward to establish the alleged irregularities. It was further submitted that the Court had not duly considered the trail of the alleged bribe money unearthed by it and had also ignored the irregularities in the implementation of the first come, first served policy of spectrum allocation. Similarly, it had also been contended in the plea filed by the ED that the facts and evidence in the case had not been appreciated by the special court.
The Delhi High Court had earlier in its March 21 hearing, while dealing with the appeals filed by the ED and the CBI issued notices to all the accused involved in the case.
Showing leniency towards the respondents, the Court had in it’s hearing of August 10 granted more time to the respondents to file their replies to the appeal.
However, now the matter has been scheduled for hearing on fast track basis from February 7, 2019.