CBI backs SC decision to itself hear all 2G trial pleas

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) The CBI Wednesday backed the apex court decision that only the top court can entertain petitions challenging any order of the special trial court hearing the 2G case.

The probe agency said the decision was correct as the case involved former central minister A. Raja, MPs and honchos of the corporate world.

"There is a series of inter-connected offences that had affected the telecom sector involving high and mighty," senior counsel for CBI K.K. Venugopal told the apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan.

Venugopal said this while defending the April 8, 2011 apex court order by which it had barred the Delhi High Court from entertaining any plea against the order or any proceeding of the 2G special trial court.

Some petitioners have sought the recall of the 2011 apex court order.

"The gist of the order" sought to be recalled "has nothing to do with the course of investigation. (The apex) court retained the power to itself considering the nature of the people involved including a minister and MPs and any objection to the conduct of the trial shall remain before it," Venugopal said.

The senior counsel said that the object of the order was that no external factor operated to impede the course of the trial.

Reliance Telecom and host of other petitioners moved the apex court seeking the recall of its April 11, 2011 order and the July 19 order of the 2G trial court permitting the probe agency to present 17 more witnesses.

Appearing for one of the petitioners, senior counsel Ram Jethmalani told the court that the order excluding the high court from the ladders of appeals available to the accused was passed by the apex court in their absence as they were not party to it.

The senior counsel said that apex court by its April 8, 2011 order "unwittingly repealed Article 226, Article 227 of constitution and Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure that speaks about the inherent powers of the high court.

Noting that when court passed its order restraining the high court from entertaining any plea arising from the proceedings of the 2G court, senior counsel Harish Salve, who appeared for a petitioner, said the apex court holding that no court other than this (apex) court could entertain the plea was a serious impairment of my rights.

The hearing will continue Friday.