Hearing on additional spectrum case adjourned till Jan 12

New Delhi : A special court here Wednesday posted for Jan 12 the hearing of a case relating to grant of additional spectrum to private operators through a January 2002 central government decision during the previous NDA regime.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge O.P. Saini adjourned proceedings till Jan 12 after the defence counsel informed him that Supreme Court has reserved its verdict on the pleas filed by Bharti Cellular CMD Sunil Mittal and Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia challenging the special court order summoning them as accused in the case.

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The hearing in the case was stayed April 26, 2013, by the Supreme Court which said that proceedings in the trial court would remain “postponed” until further orders.

The apex court order came on the pleas of Mittal and Ruia, challenging the special court’s March 19, 2013, order, by which it summoned them as accused in the case.

The CBI filed a charge sheet Dec 21, 2012, accusing former telecom secretary Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms, Bharti Cellular Ltd., Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt. Ltd. (now known as Vodafone India Ltd.), and Sterling Cellular Ltd. (now known as Vodafone Mobile Service Ltd.).

The case relates to the department of telecommunications (DoT) allocating additional spectrum in a decision taken Jan 31, 2002, when the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was in power, allegedly resulting in a loss of Rs.846 crore to the exchequer.

Although the CBI did not name Mittal, Ruia and then managing director of Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt. Ltd. Asim Ghosh, as accused, the special court issued summons to them.