SC restrained other courts from deciding issues linked to 2G

New Delhi The Centre, which was to file its response to the plea of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa that he was wrongly linked to the underworld, today told the Delhi High Court that it cannot pass an order on the issue as the apex court was seized with the 2 G Spectrum case.

"The Supreme Court is seized with the matter (2G case) and minutes (relating to the instant case) were also produced before the apex court which has restrained all other courts from passing any orders," Additional Solicitor General A S Chandiok told Justice S Muralidhar.

The Ministry of Home Affairs was earlier asked by the court to file its affidavit on the plea of Balwa that the Centre`s allegations that he had links with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim has harmed his business and reputation.

Balwa, in his application, said the Anti-terror Squad of Mumbai police and the IB, after a thorough inquiry, have found nothing against him and despite the report, the Centre has failed to file any affidavit on the issue.

Asked by Justice Muralidhar about non-filing of the response, the ASG said "besides the SC order, the matter was sensitive and details of Centre`s findings cannot be disclosed."

"He (Balwa) has already been arrested in the 2G Spectrum case and investigation, which is confidential, was going on," Chandiok said.

After being informed that the Supreme Court is to hear the case on March 10, Justice Muralidhar deferred the hearing on Balwa`s plea to March 23.

Balwa was arrested in Mumbai on February 7.

On December 3 last year, he had moved in the High Court an official note from the MHA recommending to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to deny permission to Etisalat to invest money in a Chennai-based firm, citing as one of the four reasons that he shouldn`t be associated with the company either as a director or in other capacity as he has links with the underworld.

MHA had claimed that they have sufficient inputs in this regard from the ATS of Maharashtra government and the IB.

According to sources, MHA had objected to the proposal of the UAE-based Etisalat to increase its stake in its Indian arm, Etisalat DB, citing the Dubai company`s presence in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

CBI and IB alleged Dawood had invested large sums of money in Balwa`s firm which was used by him to finance many of his business deals.

Earlier, the High Court had rejected Balwa`s plea for an early disposal of his petition against MHA`s findings on his alleged link with Dawood.