Agency files ap­peal only against stric­tures passed by the CBI court

The Economic Times - - Companies - Raghav.Ohri@ times­group.com

New Delhi: The CBI has moved the Delhi High Court seek­ing quash­ing of stric­tures passed against it by a spe­cial court in the ad­di­tional spec­trum al­lo­ca­tion case. CBI court judge OP Saini in Oc­to­ber 2015 dis­charged all the ac­cused charge-sheeted for al­leged wrong­do­ing in a 2002 al­lo­ca­tion of ad­di­tional spec­trum to tele­com com­pa­nies, caus­ing a .₹ 846 crore revenue loss to the gov­ern­ment.

The ac­cused in­cluded for­mer tele­com sec­re­tary Shya­mal Ghosh and three tele­com com­pa­nies. While dis­charg­ing all the ac­cused, the spe­cial court had directed the then CBI direc­tor to hold an in­quiry against what it termed the “erring of­fi­cials” of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion agency.

In­ter­est­ingly, the agency has now filed the ap­peal only against the stric­tures passed by the CBI court and not on the mer­its of the judge­ment dis­charg­ing the ac­cused.

The ap­peal was filed last month, a se­nior CBI of­fi­cer said, re­quest­ing anonymity. “The ap­peal is con­fined to chal­leng­ing the cen­sure by the spe­cial CBI Court,” he added.

In the 2015 rul­ing, the spe­cial court had termed CBI’s charges against the ac­cused as “false and fab­ri­cated”. Ac­cord­ing to it, the CBI tried to mis­lead the court and that the charge sheet filed by it con­tained full of “dis­torted facts”. The judge had hauled up the agency for “cre­at­ing an im­pres­sion” that “de­mand” for ad­di­tional spec­trum be­gan on the join­ing of the then tele­com min­is­ter Pramod Ma­ha­jan.

“It (charge sheet) has been drafted as to cre­ate an im­pres­sion of a grave crime, where there is none. An at­tempt has been made to cre­ate an im­pres­sion in the charge sheet that ev­ery­thing was done in the dark hours of evening of Jan­uary 31, 2002. There is no doubt that the charge sheet has been filed for ex­tra­ne­ous rea­sons,” the or­der had said.

Rais­ing doubts over the probe, the CBI court had said that at­tempts were made by the agency to “dis­tract the at­ten­tion of the court” by with­hold­ing “im­por­tant doc­u­ments”. It also rapped the CBI for plac­ing “ir­rel­e­vant doc­u­ments only to bur­den the court”.

The judge held that the CBI had “no idea as to what their case is all about”. The agency was rep­ri­manded for “con­ceal­ing doc­u­ments” like those per­tain­ing to the rec­om­men­da­tions of the sec­tor reg­u­la­tor that dealt with al­lo­ca­tion of ad­di­tional spec­trum and the files re­lat­ing to “pro­cess­ing and dis­posal of ap­pli­ca­tion of com­pa­nies” made in 1999 and 2000 for ad­di­tional spec­trum.

CBI court dis­charged all the ac­cused chargesheeted for al­leged wrong­do­ing in a 2002 al­lo­ca­tion of ad­di­tional spec­trum to tel­cos

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