Accused in the 2G spectrum case have argued that the leave to appeal filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against the acquittals of A Raja and others is not maintainable as the agency did not follow the procedure prescribed for filing such an appeal.

Accused in the 2G spectrum case have argued that the leave to appeal filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against the acquittals of A Raja and others is not maintainable as the agency did not follow the procedure prescribed for filing such an appeal.

While addressing the Single Bench of Justice Brijesh Sethi, the counsel appearing for the accused argued that the appeal has been moved by the CBI without following the procedure requiring the sanction of the central government under the CBI Manual.

The arguments were made in the leave to appeal moved by the CBI and the ED against the acquittal of A Raja and others in the 2G spectrum case. The court had earlier allowed an early hearing in this matter, agreeing to take it up on a daily basis from October 05.

Appearing for one of the accused, Mr Vijay Aggarwal argued that the CBI did not follow clause 23.20 of the CBI Manual which requires a reference to be made to the Attorney General for deciding whether a case is fit for appeal or not if there has been an acquittal in an ‘important case.’

An ‘important case’ is categorised on the basis of the amount involved, status of the accused, the sensitive nature of the investigation involving elected representatives, etc.

Mr Aggarwal further argued the agency has shown nothing to prove that other rules which require prior approval of the Department of Prosecutions and the concerned Union Ministry before filing of appeal against an acquittal has been complied with.

Responding to these arguments, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain argued that the court should not waste its valuable judicial time in entertaining such frivolous applications. Mr Jain further submitted that the decision to move an appeal is an internal matter of the agency and the central government, and if required, the deliberations can be shared with the court in a sealed cover.

‘Accused are moving applications on housekeeping matters to defeat the purpose of the court’s order granting early hearing on appeal’, Mr Jain argued.

While asking Mr Jain to clarify this controversy around maintainability, the court adjourned the matter till tomorrow

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