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2G case: Not going to stay ongoing trial, clarifies SC

PTI 18 Nov 2014, 21:46:56 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today made it clear that it was not going to stay the trial in the money laundering case arising out of the 2G scam and posted the plea of accused persons for quashing of charges against them on November 26.

“There will be no stay of the trial,” a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said at the outset when the counsel for accused persons sought to make submissions.

During the brief hearing, the counsel questioned the framing of charges by the trial court by taking into account the statements recorded by Enforcement Directorate officials under section 50 of Prevention of the Money Laundering Act.

They submitted that statements recorded by the ED under Section 50 were inadmissible in evidence as they are equivalent to statement recorded under Section 161 CrPC, the use of which is prohibited under Section 162 CrPC.

However, the bench, also comprising Justices M B Lokur and A K Sikri, before posting the matter for November 26, said, “Once we say no stay of trial, we cannot say don't look to a particular part of evidence.”

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Harish Salve, appearing for some high-profile accused, clarified that they were not asking for stay of the trial but were not clear whether the appeal against the order of trial court framing charges in the money laundering case would lie in the Delhi High Court or the Supreme Court.

The apex court, which is monitoring the probe in the 2G spectrum scam, had in its earlier order, said that appeal against the special court's order would not be heard by any other court.

In a batch of petitions, the accused persons have moved the Supreme Court seeking setting aside of a lower court order framing charges against him.

A special court had on October 31 ordered framing of charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against 19 persons, including former telecom minister A Raja, DMK supremo M Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi and wife Dayalu Ammal and Swan Telecom promotor Shahid Balwa.

It had said there was prima facie evidence that they played roles in “parking” of illegal gratification of Rs 200 crore in Kalaignar TV.