2G: Arguments on charges against Essar, Loop Thursday

May 2nd, 2012 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Arguments on charge against honchos of Loop Telecom and Essar Group will commence Thursday in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court here hearing 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Special Judge O.P. Saini in the last hearing April 21 decided to begin May 3 the arguments on the framing of charges.

The court would also take up applications seeking a shield against arrest filed by Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters I.P. Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan and Essar group director Essar Group director (strategy and Planning) Vikas Saraf.

A third set of charges filed by the CBI in the 2G case alleged that the Essar Group had used Loop as a front to acquire telecom licences in 2008.

Essar, which already had a 33 percent stake in Vodafone, held substantial equity in Loop and violated telecom licence norms, the charge sheet said.

The Essar Group has, however, maintained that it has done no wrong.

According to the government auditor, former telecom minister A. Raja was biased while distributing mobile airwaves and operating licences to telecom firms, costing a loss of up to Rs.1.76 lakh crore in lost revenues to the treasury.

Nineteen individuals, including Raja, and six companies are accused in the case. Fourteen people were arrested. Except Raja and former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura all have been released on bail.

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