2G: Loop Telecom, Essar move high court

Loop Telecom and Essar Group, accused in the 2G spectrum scam, Thursday moved the Delhi High Court pleading that their case should not be heard by a special CBI court as they have not been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Justices B.D. Ahmed and V.K. Jain will hear their plea Jan 10.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Dec 12 filed a third chargesheet in the 2G case against Loop promoters and the Essar Group for criminal conspiracy and cheating with the department of telecommunication (DoT), but had not booked the firms under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The fresh set of charges alleged that the Essar Group used Loop as a front company to acquire telecom licences in 2008. Essar, which already had a 33 percent stake in Vodafone, held substantial equity in Loop and thus violated telecom licence norms, the chargesheet said.

The licences to Loop were given during the tenure of former communications minister A. Raja, who is in judicial custody in Tihar Jail as a prime accused in the case. The firm reportedly secured licences for 21 circles for around Rs.1,450 crore.

The three companies named in the third chargesheet are Essar Teleholdings, Loop Telecom and Loop Mobile India, while the five individuals are the Essar Group's Anshuman Ruia, Ravikant Ruia and Vikas Saraf, and the promoters of Loop, Ishwari Prasad Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan.

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