Spectrum case: SC stays 2G courts order against Ruia

Written by feBureau | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 11 2013, 05:50am hrs
The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed till next week the summon order against Essar group promoter Ravi Ruia, who has been asked by a 2G special court to appear before it as an accused in a corruption case linked to allocation of additional 2G spectrum in 2002 during the NDA regime.

A bench led by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, while seeking a response from the CBI on Ruias petition, asked the CBI court to postpone till April 16 the proceedings against Ruia.

The bench passed the same order on Ruia's appeal as it had delivered on Monday, while granting the temporary relief to Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and MD of Bharti Cellular, who had also challenged the impugned summon order.

The bench said it will hear Ruia's petition along with Mittal's plea on April 15.

Ruia was asked to appear on April 11 in the 2G court along with Mittal and others.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Ruia, contended that the trial court order should be stayed as it was totally wrong. How can the CBI defend this order in the Supreme Court when they chose not to name him (Ruia) in its chargesheet The entire order of the trial court should be stayed, he argued. The bench, however, said that it would hear the two appeals against the summon order together on April 15.

Ruia, whose name was not mentioned in the CBI's chargesheet as an accused, was summoned by the 2G court, saying there were enough material to proceed against him. He was summoned along with Mittal and former MD of Hutchison Max (now Vodafone) Asim Ghosh to appear before the special court on April 11.

Ruia, who was then a Director in one of the accused company Sterling Cellular , is also facing trial in another case. In his petition, Ruia claimed that if true and corrects facts about the affairs of Sterling Cellular were placed before the trial court, such an order may not have been passed.

He said in his petition it appeared that the only basis for summoning him was that as he had chaired some of the meetings of the company. Ruia also said he was not holding any executive position in the firm and at the relevant time, Essar Group was only a minority shareholder in Sterling Cellular.