The Delhi High Court Tuesday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the pleas of three officials of the Reliance Group for quashing charges framed against them in the 2G case.
Justice M.L. Mehta sought the response of investigative agency by March 22.
Reliance Group managing director Gautam Doshi, group president Surendra Pipara and senior vice president Hari Nayar moved high court challenging the trial court order framing charges against them.
The CBI charged them with conspiracy to facilitate the grant of a 2G licence to Swan Telecom for 13 circles.
The investigating agency alleged that Swan Telecom was controlled by the Reliance Group through a web of other companies. The allegation has been strongly denied by Reliance Group.
The trial court found prima facie evidence against the three Reliance Group officials for offences of cheating and abetment.
Three officials are currently out on bail. They were formally charged by the investigating agency April 2 last year along with former communications minister A. Raja’s then personal secretary R.K. Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura and Swan Telecom’s Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka.
The high court was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by the accused in the case against the framing of charges by the Special CBI court under penal provisions and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Besides Reliance Group officials, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech’s Sanjay Chandra and directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd. Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal moved the high court against the framing of charges in the case.
Behura and Chandolia have also sought quashing of the charges.
All the petitions, other than those of the Reliance Group officials are listed for hearing May 10.
According to the government auditor, the 2G scam, allegedly masterminded by Raja, pertained to a biased distribution of mobile airwaves and operating licences, in lieu of kickbacks, to telecom firms that could have cost the treasury up to Rs.1.76 lakh crore in lost revenue.
Nineteen individuals and six companies are accused in the case. Except for Raja and Behura, all other arrested accused have been released on bail.