2G case: Mittal, Ruia appear in Delhi court

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Bharti Airtel chief Sunil Mittal and Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia Tuesday appeared before a Delhi court following summons issued to them in a case relating to alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum.

Both furnished separate personal bonds following a Supreme Court order. Accepting the bonds, Central Bureau of Investigation Special Court Judge O.P. Saini adjourned the proceedings till April 22.

The court said in the order: “It is submitted that vide order of April 15, the Supreme Court has been pleased to adjourn the matter to April 22. Accordingly, the matter is adjourned till April 22.”

“It is further submitted that accused Sunil Mittal and Ravi Ruia were also directed to furnish personal bonds. Accordingly, both have furnished personal bonds and it is accepted till the next date,” the court said.

The apex court Monday posted till Thursday the pleas of Mittal and Ruia challenging the 2G special court’s summons.

The apex court asked both Mittal and Ruia to appear before the trial court Tuesday and seek adjournment till April 22.

The special court had summoned the top executives to appear before it in connection with alleged excess spectrum allocation during the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance regime in 2002.

The trial court issued summons after taking cognizance of the chargesheet filed against mobile firms Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Sterling Cellular for the alleged irregularities.

During the proceedings of the case Tuesday, former telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh, who has also been summoned as an accused by the trial court, appeared in the CBI special court and moved a bail application.

The court may take up the bail plea of Ghosh April 22.

Co-accused Canada-based non-resident Indian Asim Ghosh, and the then managing director of accused firm Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd, now known as Vodafone India, has not yet been served with the summons.

On Dec 21 last year, the CBI named Shyamal Ghosh and the three telecom firms as accused in the 57-page chargesheet for criminal conspiracy as also under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act for causing a loss of about Rs.846 crore to the exchequer.

The agency told the court that additional spectrum was allotted July 17, 2002, to Bharti Cellular (now Bharti Airtel) and Sterling Cellular (now Vodafone Mobile Service) for the Delhi metro area, and Hutchison Max (now Vodafone India) for Mumbai metro area.

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