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Surplus spectrum:Pleas agnst 2G court’s jurisdiction dismissed

New Delhi –  A special 2G court thursday dismissed separate pleas filed by two telecom firms, which were charge sheeted in the 2002 additional spectrum allocation case challenging its jurisdiction to deal with the matter.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini also imposed the cost of Rs 25,000 each on the two telecom firms M/s Hutchison Max(P) Ltd and M/s Sterling Cellular Ltd.

“Both the applications are dismissed with a cost of Rs 25,000 each. The cost may be deposited within seven days, failing which a warrant of attachment will be issued,” the court said.

The court has now fixed August 17 for hearing arguments on charges in the case. The firms had challenged the special court’s jurisdiction on the ground that their case did not relate to 2G spectrum scam, saying the special court was constituted to deal with matters pertaining only to 2G scam and additional spectrum case was not covered under it.

CBI had opposed the jurisdiction issue saying that the case was among the various matters being monitored by the Supreme Court in connection with the 2G scam.

The accused had argued that they never got licence in the period 2001 to 2008, which is under probe by CBI on the apex court’s direction and were already an existing licensee.

Former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms — Hutchison Max, Sterling and Bharti Cellular Ltd, were chargesheeted by CBI in the case relating to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) allocating additional spectrum that had allegedly resulted in a loss of Rs 846 crore to exchequer.

The special court was earlier informed that the Supreme Court had quashed the order summoning Bharti Cellular Ltd CMD Sunil Bharti Mittal and Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia as accused in the case.

Besides Mittal, Ruia and Ghosh, the special court had also summoned Canada-based NRI Asim Ghosh, who was then a Managing Director of Hutchison Max Pvt Ltd, as an accused.

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