Sunil Mittal summoned as accused in spectrum allocation case

A Delhi court today summoned as accused Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Bharti Cellular Ltd Sunil Bharti Mittal, Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia and five others in a case relating to alleged irregularities in allocation of additional spectrum to Airtel and Vodafone during the NDA regime.

Besides Mittal and Ruia, the court issued summonses against Asim Ghosh, who was the then Managing Director of accused firm Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd and former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh for April 11.

The CBI in its charge sheet had only named 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), but Mittal, Ruia and Asim Ghosh were not arrayed as accused in the case by the agency.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini issued summonses against Mittal, Ruia,

who was then a director in Sterling Cellular Ltd, and Asim Ghosh saying they were "prima facie in control of affairs of the respective companies".

"I also find that at the relevant time, Sunil Bharti Mittal was Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Bharti Cellular Ltd, Asim Ghosh was Managing Director 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 represent the directing mind and will of each company and their state of mind is the state of mind of the companies," Special CBI Judge O P Saini said.

"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," he said.

Ruia is also facing trial in a case arising out of the probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

In the 57-page charge sheet, the CBI has 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.

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