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Additional spectrum case: Court to hear arguments from Feb 19

Arguments on framing of charges in the 2002 additional spectrum allocation scam case, in which CBI had chargesheeted former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms, would commence from February 19, a special court said today.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini fixed the matter for arguments observing that it was an “important case” and the court would hear it on a daily basis after charges are framed.

“This is an important case and after framing of charges, I intend to take the case on day-to-day hearing. Whatever documents defence counsel needs, should be provided to them,” the court said as it put up the case for arguments on framing of charges on February 19.

During the hearing, one of the defence counsels, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, sought time till first week of March to go through the additional documents supplied to them by CBI.

The court, however, declined the request saying “such long duration can not be given.”

Senior Public Prosecutor K K Goel informed the court that whatever documents CBI has relied upon has been given to the defence counsel and if any additional documents are needed, the agency was ready to provide them.

The court was earlier informed that Supreme Court had quashed the order summoning Bharti Cellular Ltd CMD Sunil Bharti Mittal and Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia as accused in the case.

Hearing in the case was virtually stalled since April 26, 2013 interim order of the apex court which had said that proceedings against Mittal and Ruia, who had challenged trial court’s summoning order, will remain “postponed” until further orders.

The apex court had cleared the decks for Mittal and Ruia by setting aside the order summoning them, observing that the principle of ‘alter ego’ has been wrongly applied by the trial judge in seeking presence of Mittal and Ruia as accused.

Besides Mittal, Ruia and Shyamal Ghosh, the special court had also summoned Canada-based NRI Asim Ghosh, who was then a managing director of accused firm Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd, as accused. Mittal, Ruia and Asim Ghosh were not named as accused in the CBI charge sheet.

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