SC rejects two telecom service providers’ plea

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday rejected the plea of telecom service provider Essar Teleholding and Loop Telecom Ltd. that action could not be taken against them by the 2G special court on charges of cheating in the allocation of 2G licences and spectrum.

The apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya dismissed the plea, holding that it lacked merit.

Pronouncing the judgment, Justice Mukhopadhaya said: “No merit and dismissed.”

Essar Teleholding Ltd., Loop Telecom Ltd. and Vikas Saraf had moved the apex court contending that the special CBI court trying 2G cases could not take cognizance of the charges under Section 420 IPC against them as it was set up to try cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act).

The telecom operators had contended that the court of the Special Judge O.P. Saini could not have taken the cognizance of charges under Section 420 IPC against them as it lacked jurisdiction to do so.

It was contended by the telecom operators that the charge under Section 420 against them was not part of the same transaction in which former Telecom Minister A. Raja and DoT officials were charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Essar Teleholding and Loop Telecom Ltd. had told the court that there was nothing in the Prevention of Corruption Act which says that if in the course of an investigation of an offence falling under the act, an offence surfaces that is not related to transaction under probe, then that too would be tried under it.

However, the court was not impressed by this plea as in the course of the hearing Justice Mukhopadhaya noted the Delhi High Court in its order had said that a special judge would deal with all the cases relating to 2G.

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