2G: Essar, Loop withdraw plea


New Delhi : Accused Essar Teleholdings and Loop Telecom Tuesday withdrew from the Delhi High Court a plea that their case be shifted from a CBI special court hearing the 2G case to a magistrate as there was no corruption charge against them.

Support TwoCircles

The companies withdrew the plea as they have moved the Supreme Court over the issue.

The division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice V.K. Jain allowed the companies to withdraw the case and said: “Writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn.”

The high court had earlier asked Essar Teleholdings, Loop Telecom and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to seek a clarification from the apex court whether it could proceed with the hearing on their petition.

No case other than the one filed under the anti-corruption law could be heard by the trial court judge as it was beyond his jurisdiction, said counsel appearing for a company.

The petitioners contended that their case could be tried by a magistrate as there was no corruption charge against them, but the special judge relied upon an administrative order issued by the high court.

The high court passed an administrative order by which the special court was constituted March 15 last year to exclusively hear the 2G case.

The third set of formal charges filed by the CBI in the case also said that the offences alleged against the companies could be tried by a magistrate as they had not been chargesheeted under the Prevention of Corruption Act, said counsel for one of the companies.

The CBI Dec 12, 2011 filed a third charge sheet against Loop promoters and the Essar Group for criminal conspiracy and cheating.

The fresh set of charges contended 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 charge sheet said.