HC adjourns hearing till Friday on appeals filed by CBI and ED in 2G Spectrum case

New Delhi, Oct 8 (UNI) Delhi High Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing till Friday on appeals filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the acquittal of all the accused including Former Telecom Minister A Raja and others in the 2G Spectrum case.

Delhi High Court heard the parties on the issue of proper filing of the appeal and on the question of CBI having the requisite sanction to file the appeal and the appeals are at the stage of ‘leave to appeal’.

Counsel for acquitted accused Surendra Pipara and Vinod Goenka submitted before the court that we will argue on Section 378 of Cr.PC.

Justice Brijesh Sethi questioned from counsels why have you not filed earlier while the court has argued very well, we need not repeat.

Counsel for Siddharth Luthra submitted before the court that the dispute is regarding the supply of sanctions and have given a compilation of judgement. We have an oral response only.

Counsel submitted that the issue of sanction affects everyone and there are provisions that the court needs to look into. Section 2(u) Cr.PC includes Special Public Prosecutor under section 24(8) and section 24(1) speaks of appointment of public prosecutors to prefer an appeal in consultation of High Court.

The Counsel further submitted under section 25A of Cr. PC on Directorate of Prosecution. He said under section 25A(8) define if it is the Advocate General, he is exempted from being answerable to Directorate of Prosecution.

Defence Counsel seeks permission to distinguish Section 24 from Section 301 CrPC. He said notification cannot help the Prosecution because it does not satisfy the criteria of Section 24 (1) of Cr. PC. The appointment was not in consultation with the High Court and it does not specify which class of cases Bhandari would be in-charge of and Leave to appeal before Delhi High Court was filed without the authority of law so the filing of the leave to appeal is under challenge.

Defence Counsel submitted that there are two dates that are relevant at this stage. A notification dated 16.02.2018 on appointment of SG Tushar Mehta as SPP for 2G cases and the appointment is under Section 24(8). It is by Central Government but doesn’t say that the appointment was in compliance of Section 24(1). He said whether High Court was consulted in order to appoint an SPP. As far notification of Bhandari was concerned, it was a general type of notification and would not even qualify under Section 24 (1).

Counsel said that the next relevant date is filing on leave to appeal which was filed in March 2018.

He said where is his authority to file the leave to defend? In the date of the filing Mr Mehta had been appointed as SPP. How is Mr Bhandari filing it when everyone else had been ousted? If Mehta satisfies the criteria of Section 24 (1) he would to be deemed to SPP.

Counsel for Reliance Telecom submitted that I will read the appointment of Mr Mehta differently and the supersession was only with regards the notification dated February 8, 2018 but it doesn’t mean that the appeal was filed correctly. He said the 8 February notification named Mr Mehta as Advocate instead of Senior Advocate and not even SPP state had appointed Public Prosecutor and Additional Public Prosecutor only for 2G case. He said assuming Mr Jain has been authorised by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta although there is no specific authorization for this case. For the purpose of Section 378(2) Centre has to direct CBI but there is no notification showing this direction it still can’t be applied to the filing of the appeal by Mr Bhandari so filing itself is bad due to lack of authority with persons filing this appeal.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain requested for adjournment for Friday for submitting before the court.

Justice Brijesh Sethi after hearing adjourn the matter for further hearing for Friday.


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