2G scam: Ruia seeks setting aside of charges framed by CBI court

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New Delhi | Published: January 16, 2015 1:44:43 AM

Essar Group promoter Anshuman Ruia has moved the Supreme Court seeking setting aside of the charges...

Essar Group promoter Anshuman Ruia has moved the Supreme Court seeking setting aside of the charges framed by the CBI court in connection with the 2G Spectrum allocation.

Essar Group promoters Anshuman and Ravi Ruia were among five persons chargesheeted by CBI in December 2011. Besides Ruias, CBI had also charged Essar Group director (strategy and planning) Vikas Saraf, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan and her husband IP Khaitan.

The agency also named three companies — Loop Telecom, Loop Mobile India and Essar Tele Holding — as accused in the case. All of them have been chargesheeted under Section 120 B (Criminal Conspiracy) and 420 (Cheating) of the IPC.

Special judge OP Saini had summoned the two companies, the Ruias and three other officials to appear in court on January 27, 2012, after taking cognisance of the CBI chargesheet accusing them of using Loop as a front company to acquire licences.

Denying any involvement in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, Anshuman told the apex court that his case is similar to that of Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal and Essar V-C Ravi Ruia, and he was also entitled to similar relief. The apex court has last week quashed a March 2013 order of CBI judge OP Saini that had summoned Mittal and Ravi Ruia as accused to face trial in the excess spectrum allocation case.

If a company is alleged to have committed an offence, its chairman/managing director/director cannot be held vicariously liable unless the offical had been involved in the commission or ommission of an act forming part of the offence and a specific role had been attributed to him, Anshuman said, adding that no such act or involvement is attributed to him.

The CBI had alleged that Loop Telecom made fraudulent applications for 21 licences by hiding the fact that it did not meet the eligibility criteria. Telecom guidelines prohibit a licensee from holding 10% equity or more in another firm that also has a spectrum licence. “The guidelines were bypassed by creating a corporate veil because documents showed that only 9.9% equity was held by Essar, while actually the entire 26% equity acquisition was funded by it,’ the chargesheet stated, adding that ‘the fraudulent applications were accompanied by false certificates.”

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