Taking a cue from a verdict quashing prosecution against Bharti CMD Sunil Mittal and his uncle Ravi Ruia, Essar Group co-promoter Anshuman Ruia moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday, seeking his discharge in the 2G spectrum case.
Anshuman, in his petition, said that the rationale behind nixing the summons against the other two business tycoons was squarely applicable to his case as well and hence, the prosecution against him should be quashed.
His petition referred to the legal principle, laid down by a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice H L Dattu, that officials of a company could not be held vicariously liable for the acts of the accused company. Anshuman said that since he had been charged as an accused in the 2G case on the sole basis that he was a director on the board of Loop Mobile India, he was entitled to be discharged in view of the SC verdict on January 9.
“The prosecution must fail because of a fundamental defect which is that the legal basis for framing of charges against the petitioner has now been held to be illegal by this Hon’ble Court. There is thus lack of any jurisdictional basis to proceed with the trial … ,” he said.
The petition maintained that the charges against him were “erroneous” in view of the incorrect legal principles applied by the trial court and hence it would be in the interest of justice to quash the charges against Anshuman.
Essar Group promoters Ravi and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran and I P Khaitan and the 3 firms – Loop Telecom, Loop Mobile India and Essar Teleholdings, have been charged with criminal conspiracy and cheating the DoT.