•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences

SC rejects Essar, Ruias plea not to be tried by special CBI 2G scam court [READ JUDGMENT]

In a huge setback to corporate honcho Anshuman S Ruia and Ravi S Ruia and their company Essar Teleholding, the Supreme Court today upheld their trial by the Special CBI court trying 2G scam cases, rejecting their plea that they should instead be tried by a magisterial court.

“Dismissed their plea and their writ petition,” said apex court bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu, Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rohinton F Nariman in their judgement on Tuesday, holding:

We find that the Special Judge, vide the order dated 2.9.2013, has given cogent reasons for not exercising his discretion to order a joint trial. He stated that the evidence in the main case has almost reached the end and as many as 146 witnesses in the main case and 71 witnesses in the second supplementary chargesheet have already been examined, clubbing the two cases together would result in the wastage of the effort already gone into and would lead to a failure of justice.

The learned Judge concluded as follows:-

47)     In the end I may add that it is not obligatory on the Court to hold a joint trial and provisions of these sections are only enabling provisions. An accused cannot insist with ulterior purpose or otherwise that he be tried as co-accused with other accused, that too in a different case. It is only a discretionary power and Court may allow it in a particular case if the interest of justice so demands  to  prevent miscarriage of justice. 

In the instant case, neither the facts and allegations are common, nor evidence is common nor the accused were acting with a commonality of purpose and, as such, there is no ground for holding a joint trial. I may also add that holding a joint trial at this stage may lead to miscarriage of justice.

48)  In my humble view, a Court may not deem it desirable to conduct a joint trial, even if conditions of these Sections are satisfied, though not satisfied in the instant case, that is: a) when joint trial would prolong the trial; b) cause unnecessary wastage of judicial time; and c) confuse or cause prejudice to the accused, who had taken part only in some minor offence.

The Essar and Ruias had moved the Supreme Court contending that since they have been charged for cheating under section 420 of IPC and for conspiracy under section 120 B of IPC, therefore they can only be tried by the magisterial court and not by the special CBI court trying cases of the offences punishable under the provisions of prevention of corruption act.

Judgment in Essar Teleholdings Ltd vs CBI (PDF)

No comments yet: share your views