2G scam: SC rejects appeals for refund of entry fee

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 3/4/2022 4:14:33 PM

NEW DELHI, Mar 03: The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected appeals of Loop Telecom and Trading Limited of Essar Group for refund of its entry fees of Rs 1454.94 crore paid in 2007 for the 2G mobile phone licences in 21 service areas in view of its 2012 judgment quashing all licences granted by the Centre.
The 71-page judgment penned by Justice Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud on behalf of the Bench, which included Justices Surya Kant and Vikram Nath, refused to lent the court's assistance to the company being a beneficiary and confederate of fraud as ruled by the top court on the petition of the Centre for Public Interest Litigation.
Recalling the 2012 judgment, the bench noted that the company was "in pari delicto" with Department of Telecom (DoT) and its officials as a beneficiary of the criminal fraud of the "First Come, First Serve" Policy intended to favour a group of private bidders at the cost of the public exchequer.
It described the company's contention that it was exculpated from any wrong doing in the 2012 judgment is "patently erroneous." It said the process of allocation of the 2G spectrum was found arbitrary and constitutionally infirm as the need for an open and transparent bidding was substituted by a process to confer unlawful benefits on a group of selected bidders, including the appellant.
The Court said these findings were tried to be obviated by relying on the acquittal by the Special CBI judge, but the limited question before that judge was on the company cheating DoT by not disclosing that it was controlled by the Essar Group. Since the prosecution could not establish its case, the acquittal of the promoters of these criminal charges does not efface or obliterate the findings contained in the CPIL judgment, the Court said.



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