A special CBI court here today dismissed a plea by Loop Telecom Limited seeking directions for referring to Lok Adalat a case arising out of the 2G scam probe, saying prima facie there were "no chances of settlement" and the case has "wider ramifications".
Special CBI Judge O P Saini turned down the plea of Loop Telecom Ltd (LTL), chargesheeted by the CBI along with promoters of Essar Group and Loop Telecom. "Prima facie, there are no chances of settlement. CBI is opposed to settlement and DoT agrees with it. As such, the case does not appear to be fit to be referred to Lok Adalat," the court said. "The case of the prosecution is that the DoT was induced by the applicants/accused to grant these valuable licences and thereafter, spectrum to them by deceit.
"Accordingly, considering the wider ramifications of the case, nature of allegations and the orders of the Supreme Court, I do not find that the case is good enough to be referred to Lok Adalat as CBI is expressly opposed to it and the DoT has decided to go along with the views of the CBI," the judge said.
During the arguments, CBI had opposed LTL's plea saying Lok Adalat normally looks into or disposes of cases of petty nature, whereas this case has wider ramifications and magnitude and was investigated under the close monitoring of the apex court.
CBI had also argued that the Supreme Court has designated the special trial court as the only court to deal with matters arising out of 2G cases and no other court can entertain this matter. DoT had told the court that it would abide by any decision taken by the court in the matter after taking into account the views of CBI.
LTL had argued that the company was facing trial for the alleged offence under section 420 (cheating) read with 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and these offences are compoundable.
Lok Adalat is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism by which the parties involved in civil and compoundable criminal cases try to arrive at a compromise to settle their case. If the concerned parties do not arrive at a compromise, the matter is remanded back to the court for disposal. As per the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), offence under section 420(cheating) of the IPC is compoundable if both the complainant and the accused arrive at a mutual consent.
Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf are facing trial in the case along with three firms -- LTL, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding Ltd.
All of them have denied the charges levelled by CBI.
CBI had filed the charge sheet against them alleging they had cheated DoT by using Loop Telecom as a "front" to secure 2G licences in 2008.