The Supreme Court on Wednesday postponed till April 16 the proceedings in the Special CBI court against Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia, who has been summoned as an accused in a corruption case related to allocation of additional 2G spectrum in 2002.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir issued notice to the CBI seeking its response on the petition filed by Ruia challenging the Special CBI Court’s order summoning him as an accused in the case. “In the meantime, hearing before the Special Judge/CBI (2G spectrum cases), New Delhi will be postponed till Tuesday (April 16),” the Bench also comprising justices A R Dave and Vikramajit Sen said.
The Bench said it was passing the same order as it had delivered while hearing the petition filed by Sunil Bharti Mittal, CMD of Bharti Cellular Limited, who has also appealed against the trial court order.
The apex court said it will hear Ruia’s petition along with that of Mittal on April 15. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Ruia, said the trial court order should be stayed as it was totally wrong. Ruia had moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday, a day after the court postponed till April 16 the proceedings in the Special CBI court against Mittal, whose counsel had dubbed the order of Special CBI judge as a “complete misdirection of law”.
While the CBI had submitted that evidence has been “found evidence against the CMD” during investigation in the case, the court had then questioned the probe agency as to why it had not named him as an accused in the chargesheet when there was evidence against him.
Ruia, whose name was not mentioned as an accused in the CBI’s FIR and chargesheet filed before the special 2G court, had contended that if true and corrects facts about the affairs of Sterling Cellular Ltd, in which he was a director at that time, were placed before the trial court, such a summoning order may not have been passed.
Ruia said it appeared the only basis for summoning him was that as he had chaired some meetings and thus he was an “alter-ego” of Sterling Cellular Ltd. Ruia also said he was not holding any executive position in the firm and at that time, Essar Group was only a minority shareholder in Sterling Cellular Ltd which was made an accused by the CBI in its chargesheet filed on December 21 last year.