Delhi HC admits CBI's appeal challenging acquittal of A Raja, others in 2G scam case

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A Raja 2G Scam

DMK leader A Raja (File image)

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday admitted a CBI appeal challenging the acquittal of former telecom minister A Raja and others in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case.

Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma said that on the basis of the material on record and the submissions made by the lawyers for the parties, a prima facie case is made out by the CBI and the appeal needs to be heard in detail.

"This court, after going through the material on record, the impugned judgment and the submissions made by the counsel for the parties, is of the opinion that a prima facie case has been made out which requires deeper examination of the entire evidence. There is an arguable case to convert the leave to appeal to a regular appeal.

"Leave to appeal is granted. List the appeal for hearing in May," the judge said.

"Leave to appeal" is a formal permission granted by a court to a party to challenge a decision in a higher court.

The high court passed the judgement on the CBI's "leave to appeal", six years after it was filed.

While the appeal was filed by the CBI in March 2018, the aspect of 'leave to appeal' was heard by seven different judges before coming to Justice Sharma who reserved the verdict on March 14.

The special court had, on December 21, 2017, acquitted Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others in the CBI and ED cases related to the 2G scam.

On March 19, 2018, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had approached the high court, challenging the special court's December 2017 judgement acquitting all the accused. A day later, the CBI too challenged in the high court the acquittal of the accused persons.

The CBI had earlier contended before the high court that there are glaring illegalities in the trial court's judgment acquitting all the accused.

Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, the special court had acquitted former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja's former private secretary R K Chandolia, Unitech Limited managing director Sanjay Chandra and three top executives of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) -- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair -- in the 2G case lodged by the CBI.

Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka and the directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Private Limited -- Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal -- were also acquitted in the CBI case.

The special court had also acquitted Swan Telecom (Private) Limited, Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Limited, Reliance Telecom Limited, film producer Karim Morani and Kalaignar TV director Sharad Kumar in the CBI case.

On the same day, the special court had also acquitted 19 accused, including Raja, Kanimozhi, DMK supremo M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, Karim Morani, P Amirtham and Sharad Kumar, in the ED case.

It had also acquitted Essar Group promoters Ravi Kant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters I P Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan and four others in a separate case arising out of the 2G scam probe.