New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday rejected appeals against the dismissal of petitions challenging the legality of CBI's appeal against the trial court verdict in the 2G scam case in which former telecom minister A Raja and others were acquitted.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla, while dealing with appeals by RK Chandolia and Rajiv Agarwal against the order passed by a single judge, perused the records in the case and said that there was no merit in the pleas before it.
Senior advocate Aman Lekhi, appearing for the appellants, argued that the appeals filed by the CBI against the trial court order acquitting all accused in the case were not maintainable on account of non-compliance with the law.
He argued that the agency failed to produce the central government order asking the public prosecutor to present the appeal in terms of section 378 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the CBI, said that the appeals were duly filed by the special public prosecutor (SPP) and carried affidavits signed by the concerned officials.
The court observed that the central government has not disowned the filing of the appeal by the SPP and there is no requirement in law that the direction to present the appeal has to be in a specific manner.
The record reveals that the Centre decided to prefer the appeal ... thereafter the matter was entrusted for the preparation of the appeal. Firstly, the record shows that the decision to prefer the appeal was taken by the Centre. So far as the direction under section 368 CrPC is concerned, the fact that appeal was entrusted to Sanjay Bhandari, the SPP to present the appeal tantamounts to a direction to present the appeal, the high court said.
There is no merit in the appeals and the same is accordingly dismissed, the court said.
In November 2020, the single judge had dismissed various pleas challenging the legality of CBI's appeal in the 2G scam case and said that it was filed duly by the probe agency.
A special court on December 21, 2017, had acquitted Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi, and others in CBI and ED cases related to the scam.
It had acquitted 17 others, including DMK supremo M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, film producer Karim Morani, P Amirtham, and Sharad Kumar, director of Kalaignar TV in the ED case.
On the same day, the trial court had also acquitted Behura, Chandolia, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, and three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara, and Hari Nair in the CBI's 2G case.
Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal were also acquitted in the CBI case.
The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate have challenged in the high court the acquittal of all the individuals and companies in the 2G scam corruption and money laundering cases by the trial court.
The CBI has also filed an appeal challenging the acquittal of Essar Group promoters Ravi Kant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia and six others in a separate case arising out of the 2G scam probe.