The Supreme Court quashed CBI special court order against the industrialists. (Reuters photo)
The Supreme Court today said that Sunil Bharti Mittal, the chairman and managing director of Bharti Cellular Ltd and Ravi Ruia, the promoter of Essar Group, will not face trial in a case of allocation of additional spectrum.
The court quashed the CBI special court's order making the two top telecom executives accused in the case.
The industrialists had been summoned as accused by a special CBI court hearing the case involving the allocation of additional second 2G spectrum in 2002. Their names had not figured in the chargesheet submitted by the CBI, which was handling the case.
Maintaining there was "enough material" to proceed against them in the case, the special court had summoned them on March 19, 2013.
Mr Mittal and Mr Ruia had approached the Supreme Court, challenging the order.
Mr Mittal's lawyer argued that he could not be held "vicariously liable" for a criminal offence of a company unless there was evidence.
Mr Ruia's lawyer maintained that he was not connected with the day-to-day affairs of the company allegedly involved - Sterling Cellular Ltd - and he had been wrongly summoned.
The top court today said that CBI court wrongly applied the legal principle while summoning Mr Mittal and Mr Ruia as accused, but said that the CBI judge is at liberty to summon them at any stage if material on record is found.
The case relates to alleged irregularities in allocation of additional spectrum - 10 Mhz instead of 6.2 Mhz - during the NDA rule.