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    Posted on 22 February 2012
    CURRENT AFFAIRS  
    2G SCAM

    Ruias, Khaitans exempted from personal appearances in court

    Judge OP Saini allows exemption for the second time as CBI decides to not oppose the application

    Tehelka.com Bureau
    New Delhi

    Ruias' lawyer Mukul Rohatgi outside the Special CBI Court hearing the 2G case in Delhi on Wednesday

    Photo: Naval Hans


    The Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Court hearing the 2G scam case on Wednesday 22 February granted exemption to Ruias and Khaitans from personal appearance in the court as the CBI chose not to oppose their application. The four accused granted exemption are Ravikant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia of the Essar Group and Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan and her husband IP Khaitan.

    Lawyers of Ruias and Khaitans told the court that their clients are based in Dubai and had not been served summons properly by the CBI; Khaitans’ lawyer also said that his clients were unwell. Special Public Prosecutor UU Lalit told the court that the agency was not opposing the application of the four accused, which Special Judge OP Saini took into account before granting the exemption for the day but said they will have to appear in the court during the next hearing. Judge Saini said the exemption has been allowed “only for today” (22 February), which means they have to now appear before the court on 17 March, when the matter is to be heard again.

    During the proceedings, Ruias’ lawyer, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi reiterated in the court that the case against them was not part of the 2G case as they have not been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). He also told the court that their plea challenging the jurisdiction of the Special CBI Court to hear the case against them is to be heard by the Supreme Court (SC) on 1 March.

    Essar and Loop had claimed that only a Magistrate and not the Special Judge can take up the case against them on a chargesheet filed by the CBI in the matter because the company and its officials are not facing charges under the PCA but only charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

    During the last hearing of the matter on 15 February the SC had refused to grant interim stay on the proceedings against Essar, Loop Telecom and their promoters before the special trial court and said that it will quash the proceedings against them only if it comes to the conclusion later that the special court did not have jurisdiction.

    This is the second time that the Ruias and Khaitans failed to appear before the court. They were initially slated to appear before it on 27 January and after their non-appearance, the court had on that date ordered issuance of fresh summons asking them to appear on 22 February.

    letters@tehelka.com

    Editing by Karuna John


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    Posted on 22 February 2012
 

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