New Delhi, September 21: All the respondents including former Telecom Minister A Raja and businessman Shahid Balwa have strongly opposed the application of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) for early hearing in the 2G appeal case in Delhi High Court.

Advocate Sanjay Jain, Additional Solicitor General (ASG), who appeared for CBI, argued that the matter has a substantial public interest and as the judge who has heard the matter is due to demit his office on November 30 this year and the court may grant an early hearing and hear the matter expeditiously, Business World reported.

Advocate Manu Sharma appearing for A Raja argued that there was no cause to grant an out-of-turn urgent hearing to the appeals moved by CBI and ED amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The investigation agency has only spoken about public interest in their application but has not substantiated the same with arguments, he said.

Advocate Vijay Aggarwal along with Advocate Mudit Jain and Anshul Agarwal representing Shahid Balwa and several others vehemently opposed the application and stated that CBI has not explained as to why the appeal filed by them should be given precedence over appeals against conviction due to which the accused persons are languishing in jail especially for the year.

Aggarwal also submitted that allowing the application for the early hearing shall be against the interest of justice as the respondents will not be afforded adequate opportunity since the records runs into lakhs of pages.

He said each person will not even get 0.89 days to argue his or her case as the judge is scheduled to demit his office in November. “Justice hurried is justice buried,” he added.

Advocate Tarannum Cheema, appearing for Sanjay Chandra, argued that her client is in Tihar jail in another matter and has not been served with the copy of the application. Other advocates appearing for the respondents in the case also argued that the application is misconceived.

A single-judge bench of Justice Brijesh Sethi, who is hearing the appeal of ED and CBI against the trial court order which acquitted all the accused in the 2G case, had recently issued notice to all respondents to file reply on the early hearing plea filed by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED).

After hearing detailed arguments on Monday, the court has adjourned the matter for Tuesday for remaining arguments.

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