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NDA regime grant of additional spectrum: Case adjourned

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NDA regime grant of additional spectrum: Case adjourned
NDA regime grant of additional spectrum: Case adjourned

New Delhi – A Delhi court Monday posted for Feb 20 next year the hearing of a case of grant of additional spectrum to private operators through a union government decision of January 2002, du ring the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime.

The hearing in the case was stayed April 26 this year by the Supreme Court which said that proceedings in the trial court would remain “postponed” until further orders.

The Supreme Court’s order came on Bharti Cellular CMD Sunil Mittal and Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia’s pleas, challenging the special court’s March 19 order, by which it summoned them as accused in the case.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge O.P. Saini adjourned proceedings till Feb 20.

Mittal and Ruia did not appear in the court, while former telecom secretary Shyamal Ghosh, another accused, was present.

The CBI filed a charge sheet Dec 21 last year, accusing three telecom firms, Bharti Cellular Ltd., Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt. Ltd. (now known as Vodafone India Ltd.), and Sterling Cellular Ltd. (now known as Vodafone Mobile Service Ltd.) and Shyamal Ghosh in the case.

The case relates to th! e Department of Telecommunications (DoT) allocating additional spectrum in a decision taken January 31, 2002, when the NDA was in power, allegedly resulting in a loss of Rs.846 crore to the exchequer.

Although the CBI did not name Mittal, Ruia and then managing director of Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt. Ltd., Asim Ghosh, as accused, the special court had issued summons to them.

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