New Delhi: The promoters of Loop Telecom and Essar Group failed to appear in court yet again on Wednesday.
Promoters I P Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan were granted exemption from personal appearance by a Delhi court, which had summoned them as accused in the 2G
"Exemption applications of four accused (Ruias and Khaitans) are allowed for today only," Special CBI Judge O P Saini said after taking note of submission of Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit that the agency was not opposing their plea.
Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Parag Tripathi, appearing for Ruias and Khaitans respectively, moved separate applications for taking exemption from personal appearance for their clients on grounds including that they were residents of UAE and they have not been properly served with the summons.
Khaitans have also cited their "poor health" condition as additional ground in support of their exemption pleas. "The case against us is not a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act and, moreover, we have challenged the administrative order of the Delhi High Court by which this court was constituted to hear the 2G case," Rohatgi said.
The apex court would hear the matter on March 1 and the outcome would decide the forum and the course of trial against us, he added.
The court asked the CBI to provide the copy of the chargesheet along with all the relevant documents to the accused who have appeared before it.
Vikas Saraf who is Essar's Director for Strategy and Planning though appeared in court.
Last week the Supreme Court refused to grant interim stay on the summonses issued against them and their officials by a special CBI court to appear before it on February 22 for their alleged involvement in a 2G spectrum scam offshot case.
The two telecom firms, in their petitions, had said they have been chargesheeted under section 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and the charges were triable by a magistrate and not by the special court constituted under the Prevention of Corruption Act for hearing the 2G case.
Other accused named in the third chargesheet are Essar group promoters Anshuman and Ravi Ruia along with Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf.
Their companies have been accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of criminal conspiracy; Essar allegedly used Loop as a front in 2008 to acquire more licenses and spectrum than legally permissible.
However, the companies and their promoters have denied any involvement in the scam.