The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that the special trial court here hearing the 2G case should also take up the case of two co-accused Loop Telecom and Essar Teleholdings.
Loop Telecom and Essar had moved the high court pleading that their case should not be heard by the special CBI court as they had not been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice V.K. Jain would next hear pleas of Loop and Essar Jan 24.
The third set of formal charges filed by the CBI in the case said that the offences alleged against the companies could be tried by a magistrate as they had not been charge sheeted under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).
Senior advocates appearing for the companies said that the charge sheet against the companies had been filed without referring to the PCA Act and, hence, the CBI Special Judge could not hear them. "The petition involves only a short question of law, which is whether a sessions judge (Special Judge O.P. Saini hearing the 2G case) can hear matters that ought to be tried by a magistrate," said counsel.
"Even the CBI and the special judge himself, had doubts on whether the special judge could take cognizance of the charge sheet where there is no offence alleged under the Prevention of Corruption Act," said petitioner.
Petitioner argued that the mere charges against the companies was that they misled the department of telecommunications and they were charged with the offences of cheating and conspiracy. Senior Counsel Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi appearing for petitioners said that the Supreme Court had directed that a special court would be created which will hear the entire case related to the 2G case exclusively.
Advocate Sonia Mathur appearing for the CBI said that the case was related to the grant of letters of intent for 2G spectrum to various telecom companies, so the special court was empowered to hear the matter. She submitted that out of 120 letters of intent, 21 had been allotted to Loop and the special CBI judge had the jurisdiction to take up its case.