New Delhi, Oct 10: Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa today told a Delhi court that all 17 accused cannot be charged for the offence of criminal breach of trust in 2G scam case as spectrum was not “property” which have illegally been disposed off by them.
“Spectrum was just a medium of communication. It is not a property. It remains in the air. It is not like a mineral which I (Balwa) will extract and will become its owner. It is not my property,” senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Balwa, told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.
CBI has sought framing of additional charges under section 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC against former Telecom Minister A Raja and others. If convicted, they may face life imprisonment as maximum punishment.
Referring to words property and criminal breach of trust in relation to that property used in the penal provision, the defence lawyer said “spectrum is not the property” which was entrusted to Raja. Raja also did not have a dominion over radio waves, he said, adding no offence of criminal breach of trust was made out.
“Spectrum has been dealt with by Department of Telecom (DoT) since 1995 and for the past 15 years neither the government nor DoT considered it as a commodity,” he said.
CBI, in its plea, said Raja and two government servants had a dominion over valuable 2G spectrum in their respective capacities as public servants and they flouted law in award of licenses, which made out a case of criminal breach of trust.
It also sought to try the rest 14 accused, including DMK MP Kanimozhi, Balwa, under the same penal provision by making them a party to the alleged criminal conspiracy hatched by Raja and two other public servants. PTI