2G: Essar and Loop promoters appear before court

New Delhi: Promoters of Essar Group and Loop Telecom, named as accused in a case flowing out of the 2G scam, today appeared before a Delhi court.

Essar group promoters Ravi and Anshuman Ruia and Loop Telecom promoters I P Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan moved their bail pleas after they appeared before Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

The court listed the matter for arguments on bail pleas for April 21 after the CBI said that they needed time to file reply on the bail applications.

"Put up for reply and arguments, if any, on April 21," the judge said.

Ruias and Khaitans were summoned by the court on December 22, last year after being charge sheeted in the case by CBI.

After failing to appear in person thrice, they were on previous hearing directed by the court to appear in person before it with a warning that they would suffer if they do not do so.

Besides, Ruias and Khaitans, the CBI had also named Essar Group director (Strategy and Planning) Vikas Saraf as accused in its third charge sheet filed on December 12 last year.

Saraf had, however, appeared before the court on February 22 and had moved his bail application which will also be heard on April 21.

Essar, which has denied any involvement in 2G case, has contended that the special court cannot proceed against them as they were not charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The company` plea challenging the special court`s jurisdiction to hear the case is pending in the Supreme Court and is likely to be heard on April 17.

On January 27, Ruias and Khaitan had failed to appear claiming that summonses to them were not "duly" served, prompting the court to issues fresh summonses for February 22.

On February 22 and March 17, they had sought exemption from personal appearance on grounds including that they were residents of UAE. Khaitans have also cited their "poor health" condition as additional ground in support of their exemption pleas. The court had granted them exemption.

The CBI also named Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding as accused.

The representatives of the three accused firms had appeared in court on January 27 in pursuance to the summons issued to them.

The five accused have been charged with cheating the Department of Telecom (DoT) by using Loop Telecom as a "front" to secure 2G licenses in 2008.

They were with charged with offences only under the IPC as the CBI did not find enough evidence to prosecute them under the Prevention of Corruption Act.