2G: CBI Distorting Truth, Misleading Court, Says Essar

New Delhi
2G: CBI Distorting Truth, Misleading Court, Says Essar

Essar Teleholdings Ltd (ETHL) today told a Delhi court hearing the 2G spectrum case that the CBI has deliberately "distorted" the truth and "misled" the court by giving incomplete facts in the charge sheet filed against them.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, who appeared for ETHL, said the case against them is not a 2G related case as they have not been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act and no government officials are involved in it.

Salve, who was opposing framing of charges against ETHL, said the facts given by the CBI in the charge sheet was incorrect where the agency has described that foreign firm Hutchison was planning to exit from the joint venture Hutchison Essar Ltd.

"This is a deliberate distortion of truth (by the CBI)," he said.

"The CBI is deliberately misleading you (judge). The Supreme Court judgement (in the Vodafone tax case) falsifies everything written (in para 30) in the charge sheet. The dates are wrong, the period mentioned is wrong and even the inferences made are wrong," Salve told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

The CBI, in its charge sheet filed on December 12 last year, had named Essar group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia and Loop Telecom promoters I P Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan, besides Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf as accused in the case.

Besides the five persons, three companies -- Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Teleholdings Ltd -- are also accused in the case.

The CBI, in its charge sheet, has alleged that the accused had committed offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy for obtaining 2G licences in 2008.

Salve said this is a "strange case" as no one has complained that he has been cheated.

"At the end of the day, there is no allegation under the Prevention of Corruption Act. This is a very strange case. This is a cheating case and it's police, which has filed a case before you but the victim of the cheating is not before you," he said.

Refuting the allegations of cheating levelled by the CBI, he said that in 2G case, the society was the victim but here it is very different as no government officials are involved in it.

"If the government is not in the dock in front of you then who said the government was cheated?," he said.

Salve said the CBI is saying that the transaction that took place is suspicious but it was a pure business transaction and no illegality was committed in it.

He argued that the CBI has given incomplete facts in the charge sheet and has dumped it before the court to take a stand on it.

Salve said that even after going through the figures given by the CBI in the charge sheet, one "cannot make out who is fronting for whom".

Meanwhile, during the day's proceeding, the CBI opposed the bail pleas of the five accused persons saying a prima facie case is made out against them and most of the witnesses of this case are coming from corporate entities which are being controlled by the accused.

"As a public prosecutor, my humble submission is that this court may not extend bail to them (accused)," Special public prosecutor U U Lalit said.

He said the Ruias and Khaitans had not appeared before the court even once after summonses were issued against them by the court.

The defence counsel would advance their arguments on the bail pleas tomorrow.

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