Delhi HC issues notice on ED’s plea seeking early hearing in 2G case

New Delhi, Sep 10 : The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought response from ex-Telecom Minister A. Raja and others over a petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking an early hearing of its leave to appeal application against the acquittal of the accused persons in the 2G scam case.

A single-judge bench of Justice Brijesh Sethi issued a notice to the respondents A. Raja and others to file their replies on the plea and slated the matter for further hearing on September 21.

During the course of the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the ED, said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the matter was not heard after January 15, the day when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) concluded its arguments.

Jain added that the appeal shall be heard expeditiously as Justice Sethi will demit the office on November 30.

“If the matter is heard afresh by another bench, it will cost too much to the public exchequer,” ASG Jain said.

The bench also reserved its order on applications filed by two companies seeking to release its properties attached by the agency.

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One of the pleas was filed by Conwood Construction and Developers (P) Ltd (CCDPL), an accused in the Prevention of Money Laundering case related to the 2G scam, seeking release of the properties attached by the ED by furnishing indemnity bond.

Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing on behalf of CCDPL, submitted that the ED is not looking after the properties post their attachment and it has not paid property tax and other statutory dues which is diminishing the value of the properties.

He cited various precedents where properties attached by the ED have been released upon furnishing an indemnity bond. However, Jain opposed his plea calling it an abuse of the process of law and urged the court either to dismiss it or keep it in abeyance.

While the other plea was filed by RK Chandolia against the agency’s appeal challenging the acquittal of the accused, claiming that the appeal is now ‘infructuous’ due to the 2018 amendment to the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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Chandolia was the then private secretary of former Telecom Minister A Raja.

The probe agencies, both CBI and ED, moved the court in March 2018 challenging the trial court’s order which had acquitted all the accused in the 2G spectrum case.

In 2017, a special CBI court had acquitted all 18 accused, including A Raja and K Kanimozhi, in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

The scam came to light almost seven years ago when the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in a report held Raja responsible for causing the state exchequer a loss of Rs 1,76,379 crore by allocating 2G spectrum licences at throwaway prices.

However, the trial court found that the prosecution failed to prove the charges. This verdict, however, doesn’t override the Supreme Court judgement or take away from the fact that the licences issued during 2G spectrum allocation were illegal.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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