2G scam accused forbidden by court to travel abroad
There is a tendency among the accused in high-profile cases to go abroad and “never return”, a special court has said while refusing permission to Loop Telecom promoter I P Khaitan, an accused in a 2G scam-related case, to travel overseas.
Special CBI judge O P Saini dismissed Khaitan’s plea in which he had sought the court’s permission to travel to Dubai from October 17 to November 17 on grounds like health checkup, maintenance of his NRI status and business interest in Dubai, saying the trial was complete and only the judgment remained to be pronounced.
“The trial in the case stands concluded and only judgment remains to be pronounced… Accordingly, it may not be prudent to let the accused leave the country at this critical stage of the case. Even otherwise, instant trial is a high-profile trial, being part of 2G scam cases.
“It is common knowledge that in high-profile cases, there is tendency amongst the accused to leave the country and never return. Accordingly, there is no merit in the application and the same is dismissed,” the court said.
In his application, Khaitan had told the court that he was ready to abide by any condition imposed by it.
The denial of permission to Khaitan came nearly three weeks after Supreme Court rejected Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia’s plea to travel abroad for business. The trial court had earlier rejected similar pleas of Ravi and Anshuman Ruia respectively in February and June this year.
Besides Khaitan, his wife and Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, Essar Group promoters Ravi and Anshuman Ruia and group official Vikash Saraf are facing trial in the case.
Three telecom firms — Loop Telecom Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holdings Ltd — are also facing trial in the case.
The five individual accused, who are out on bail, have denied the charges levelled by CBI. The three firms have also refuted these allegations.
CBI had listed these accused in a charge sheet on December 12, 2011, alleging they had cheated the DoT by using Loop Telecom as a “front” to secure 2G licences in 2008.
On May 25, 2012, the court had framed charges against all the accused under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with section 420 (cheating) of the IPC, while the substantive charge of cheating was made out only against Saraf.