New Delhi, Jan 27: Fresh summonses were today issued to promoters of Essar Group and Loop Telecom in a case arising out of 2G scam probe by a Delhi court after they failed to appear in response to the first summonses.
The court asked CBI to affix them on addresses of the corporate leaders only after three visits to their premises.
“Accordingly, fresh summonses be issued to all four accused for February 22. The serving officer (of CBI) shall visit the given addresses at least on three different dates and in case of unavailability of the accused or any male member of the family at the given address, shall effect the service by affixation during the last visit,” Special CBI Judge O P Saini said.
The summonses were issued again as Ruias and Khaitans named as accused in the third charge sheet did not appear in compliance with the December 21 summons which they claimed were not “duly” served.
The court also asked the CBI to telephonically intimate the promoters of Essar Group Anshuman and Ravi Ruia and Loop Telecom promoters I P Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan about the summonses issued against them.
“Since the four accused (Ruias and Khaitans) voluntarily gave their telephone numbers for contacting them, they be intimated telephonically also about the summonses by sending SMS and making calls at telephone numbers,” the court said.
The court's order came after special public prosecutor U U Lalit said no personal service of summons could be effected on these four and the addresses, for which the processes were issued, were given by them during the investigation.
“No change of address has been intimated to the investigating agency or to the court by the four accused. At least two attempts were made to get the processes served upon them, but they were not available at given addresses and during the second attempt, the summonses were affixed at a conspicuous place of addresses given by them in presence of their employees,” Lalit said.
Essar denied any involvement in the 2G case and has questioned the jurisdiction of the special court in dealing with its case in the Delhi High Court which will hear its plea on February 16.
During arguments, Lalit told the court the service of the summonses “may be declared to have been properly served”.
The counsel for accused Vikash Saraf, Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) and three firms—Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holdings, said summonses were not “duly” served on Ruias and Khaitans.
The court said that as per the service reports and the case diaries submitted by the CBI, the summonses to these four accused were issued at the addresses which were voluntarily given by them to the agency during the probe.
“In view of the fact that the addresses were given voluntarily by the four accused to the investigating agency during the investigation, the summonses are held to have been issued at the correct addresses, which were last known and correct addresses of the accused persons,” the judge said.
The court made the remarks as an advocate said that the summonses (meant for Ruias) were wrongly affixed at his clients office in Mumbai which is working under the name of Rupa Investments Pvt Ltd.
The judge, in his eight-page order, said that Ravi and Anshuman Ruia appeared before the CBI on August 24 and August 10 last year respectively. During their examination, they both gave their Mumbai-based address, which the counsel appearing for Rupa Investments Pvt Ltd claimed to be its address.
Similarly, I P and Kiran Khaitan had appeared before the CBI on May 24 last year and had given their Dubai as well as Delhi address, the judge observed.
The court said during investigation, notices were issued to Khaitans at their Delhi address of New Friends Colony and both the accused has sent their response to the CBI without disputing it.
“Furthermore, investigating officer has submitted that Kiran Khaitan was interrogated at her Delhi address during investigation,” the court noted.
It also perused the service report on the summonses to Ruias and said the first visit to their given address was made by the CBI official on December 28 last year but the report was “brief and sketchy”.