ibnlive » India

Jul 22, 2013 at 12:59pm IST

2G case: Reliance Telecom moves SC against court order on Anil, Tina Ambani

New Delhi: Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging trial court's order summoning Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani and his wife Tina Ambani as prosecution witnesses in 2G spectrum allocation scam case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, before whom the matter was mentioned for an urgent hearing, agreed to hear the case and posted it for July 24 before an "appropriate bench".

RTL, facing trial in the case, moved the Supreme Court against the trial court's order as the apex court had earlier restrained all other courts, including high court, from entertaining any plea arising out of 2G scam case.

Anil Ambani and his wife will be summoned as prosecution witnesses in the 2G scam after a special court had on Friday accepted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) petition to summon the duo and 11 others in the case.

The CBI had in its plea said that the Reliance ADA Group Chairman's testimony is needed to explain why Reliance invested over Rs 900 crore in Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, facing trial in the case along with its promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka. The court had also allowed 11 others to be examined in the case.

"I find that examination of these witnesses is necessary for just decision of the case," Special CBI Judge OP Saini had said and added, "The application is allowed in total and all 13 are summoned."

Anil Ambani had been questioned once in 2011 before the plea was filed by the CBI. Witnesses will start to testify in the case from July 22 but the date when Anil will be called in not yet clear.

However, if Anil's statement is clear then Tina will not be required to depose in the case, the CBI had said.

The agency had contended Anil Ambani, who is the Chairman of Reliance ADA Group, will be able to "throw light" on the issues of the alleged investment by his group companies.

Anil Ambani is required to be examined regarding the decisions on incorporation of the alleged shell companies, special public prosecutor UU Lalit had said, adding that although he may not have been a part of the decisions taken on these issues, he would have been aware about these matters.

According to the CBI, Anil and his wife had "unrestricted powers" so far as cheque issuing authority is concerned and Tina Ambani had presided over the relevant meetings.

The advocates appearing for the three top executives of Reliance ADAG - Gautam Doshi (Group Managing Director), Surendra Pipara (Group President), Hari Nair (Senior Vice-President) - who are facing trial in the case had opposed the CBI's plea saying that the delay on the agency's part in moving this application shows that it is not genuine.

The defence counsel had argued that reasons for the delay could be explained but CBI has not given any explanation regarding this.

The court had on July 17 reserved its order on the CBI's plea for summoning the Ambanis and others as prosecution witnesses.