The Supreme Court today dismissed pleas by Essar Teleholdings Ltd and Loop Telecom challenging the jurisdiction of a special CBI court to hold a trial against these entities and their officials in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
The matter has been pending since the apex court reserved its judgement more than a year ago. Today, a bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya rejected the twin pleas of the telecom companies that they be tried in a magisterial court, unlike others accused in 2G cases, as they have not been charged under Prevention of Corruption Act.
The bench, which had reserved its judgement in May 2012, dismissed the plea saying there was no merit in it.
The companies and their officials are facing trial before a special CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) court constituted to hold the trial in the 2G spectrum allocation scandal.
The companies had argued that they have been named in the charge-sheet under Sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and these charges should be tried by a magistrate and not by the special court.
Other accused named in the third charge-sheet in 2G case are Essar Group promoters Anshuman and Ravi Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan and her husband I P Khaitan, and Essar Group director (strategy and planning) Vikash Saraf.
The companies and their promoters have denied any involvement in the scam.
The counsel appearing for Essar had said that even in the charge-sheet against them, CBI has said the offence was triable before a magistrate's court; but it was filing the charge sheet before the special court set up on the order of the apex court to deal with the 2G scam.
Seventeen other accused, including former telecom minister A Raja, his former private secretary R K Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, and officials of Anil Ambani's Reliance ADAG.