Delhi High Court has reserved order in applications moved by Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation seeking early hearing in 2G spectrum appeals.
The Single Bench of Justice Brijesh Sethi reserved the order after giving patient hearing to all the parties over the course of two working days.
‘We will just do our duty, the outcome is not in our hands’, the court said while talking about the prospects of having an early hearing’, the court said,
Earlier, the court had allowed the Enforcement Directorate to move an application for seeking urgent hearing on Leave To Appeal filed against the acquittal of A Raja and others in the 2G Spectrum case.
Appearing for the ED, ASG Sanjay Jain had informed the court that he had already concluded his arguments on leave to appeal in the CBI matter and even the Respondents had started making their submissions before the normal proceedings of the court were suspended due to the lockdown.
Mr Jain had further argued that since the concerned judge who has heard this case so far is going to retire in November, the hearing in the main matter shall be expedited. In light of this, Mr Jain orally asked the court to list the hearing on this matter 3-4 times a week, 2-3 hours each. He said:
‘One of the biggest trials was conducted as per the directions of the Supreme Court on the large expense of public exchequer. Therefore, the public interest lies in seeing this matter reaching its logical conclusion. Any delay in this matter would further burden the public exchequer.’
Mr Jain had also submitted that he doesn’t mind filing replies to the applications moved by the Respondents, however, such applications should only be entertained after concluding the hearing on leave to appeal.
The counsel for the Respondents, including Mr Vijay Aggarwal and Ms Tarannum Cheema, had opposed the application for early hearing on the ground that it doesn’t serve the public interest, the agencies have not given any reasons for this urgency, and it would be very difficult to ensure fair representation for the accused persons due the limitations caused by the pandemic.
Mr Siddharth Aggarwal, appearing for one the Respondents, had also argued that judicial conscience should not allow early hearing in this application when the admitted appeals of people who are languishing in prisons are not getting listed before the court.
In December 2017, A Raja, Kanimozhi and 17 others were acquitted by a Special CBI Judge in both the CBI and ED cases.
The Special Judge had opined that the prosecution had “miserably failed” to prove the charges against the accused persons.
Challenging the said order of the Special Judge, both the ED and the CBI had approached the Delhi High Court in March 2018.