April 1, 2013 8:04:15 pm
Bharti Cellular Limited CMD Sunil Bharti Mittal today approached the Supreme Court challenging the March 19 order of the special 2G court summoning him as an accused in a corruption case related to allocation of additional spectrum during the NDA regime in 2002.
Mittal,whose name was not mentioned in the CBI’s charge sheet as an accused,was,however,summoned by the special CBI court saying there were “enough material” to proceed against him in the case.
Special CBI judge O P Saini had also summoned two others – Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia,who was then a director in one of the accused company Sterling Cellular Ltd,and Asim Ghosh,then managing director of accused firm Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd– whose name were not mentioned in the charge sheet.
CBI had filed the charge sheet on December 21 last year against former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms Bharti Cellular Ltd,Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd (now known as Vodafone India Ltd) and Sterling Cellular Ltd (now known as Vodafone Mobile Service Ltd). They all were also summoned for April 11 by the court.
The court had said that Mittal,Ruia and Asim Ghosh were “prima facie” in “control of affairs” of their companies which were named in the charge sheet by the CBI in the case.
The court,in its two-page order,had said that Mittal was the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Bharti Cellular Ltd while Ruia was then a director of Sterling Cellular Ltd and they used to chair the board meetings of their respective companies and the “acts of the companies are to be attributed and imputed to them”.
The special judge had said,”I also find that at the relevant time,Sunil Bharti Mittal was CMD of Bharti Cellular Ltd,Asim Ghosh was MD of Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd and Ravi Ruia was a Director in Sterling Cellular Ltd,who used to chair the meetings of its board. In that capacity they were/are prima facie in control of affairs of the respective companies.
“As such,they represented the directing mind and will of companies and their state of mind was that of the companies,” the judge had said,adding,”They are/were ‘alter-ego’ of their respective companies.
“In this fact/situation,the acts of the companies are to be attributed and imputed to them. Consequently,I find enough
material on record to proceed against them also.”
In the 57-page charge sheet,the CBI had booked Shyamal Ghosh and the three telecom firms for the offences of criminal conspiracy (120-B) of the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI,in its charge sheet,has named the three telecom companies as accused in the case in which DoT had allegedly allocated additional spectrum resulting in a loss of Rs 846 crore to the exchequer.
Regarding Ghosh,CBI had said that in conspiracy with the then Telecom Minister Pramod Mahajan and accused telecom firms,he abused his official position to show undue favour to the firms causing a loss of Rs 846.44 crore to the exchequer.