Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, accused in the 2G spectrum case, were today granted three days' exemption from personal appearance by the special CBI court trying the case, after they pleaded that they need to consult their lawyers in Mumbai about a cheating case filed against them by Emirates-based Etisalat.
Etisalat on Thursday launched legal proceedings against its Indian joint venture partners of the DB group in the Bombay High Court alleging fraud, as it sought to recover some of the losses from its scandal-hit investment in the country. It has already announced this week that it is quitting the Indian telecom sector and dissolving its partnership with DB.
"A case of cheating and forgery has been filed against us (Balwa and Goenka) by Etisalat and we need to go Mumbai urgently to engage advocates for the new case and to brief them about it," counsel for Balwa and Goenka said.
Swan Telecom now operates in India as Etisalat DB, with around 1.67 million subscribers across 15 circles.
Etisalat, the senior partner, said on Wednesday that it would quit the market and the partnership by the time the Supreme Court order cancelling its licences along with others comes into effect.
Balwa and Goenka had sought exemption for five days, but special CBI judge O P Saini granted three days and also directed their counsel to remain present during the court proceedings so that their identity could not be disputed.