New Delhi: Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea of Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia, facing trial in a case arising out of the 2G scam probe, to go abroad for business purposes, saying it does not want "to take chances".
"We have allowed a person to go abroad but he never came back. He was no less big than you in monetary terms. We don't want to take chances now. We are now once bitten twice shy. We are not going to give liberty to anyone," a bench of Justices J S Khehar and Arun Mishra said without naming the person.
The apex court dismissed the petition of Ruia who wanted to visit United Kingdom, United States, Canada and UAE for business purposes. The Times of India reported that the SC said it had a very bad experience in earlier cases where it believed an influential person and allow him to go abroad and he went back on his word.
The bench said the final arguments in the case was over and judgement is awaited, and in such a scenario, it cannot allow Ruia to go abroad.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Ruia, said he cannot be allowed to suffer "if some Mr X has cheated the court."
To this, the bench said "it is because you are also similarly situated."
"He has also given the details of his assets and undertaking, but now he says I have sold my assets in India," the bench said.
Singhvi pointed that the verdict would take time as it has delivered together by the special CBI court hearing the 2G cases being heard, said TOI. Singhvi said that Ruia is an NRI and holds a residency visa of UAE and he has visited abroad 43 times for several reasons during the pendency of trial but never ever violated the bail conditions.
While giving details of Ruia's businesses in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Saudi Arabia, the senior advocate said his elder brother could stand surety for his return and can even go to jail if he does not return.
"Give us details of your businesses in India. We have access to your assets in India, not abroad," the bench said.
Singhvi said Ruia was accused for co-conspiracy in the case arising out of 2G scam and facing charges under section 420 of IPC and not Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).
"My case is at a higher pedestal. I have never violated any bail condition. I have a better track record," he said.
Special Public Prosecutor Senior advocate Anand Grover opposed Ruia's plea and said he always wanted to be an exception and never followed the norms of giving details of his itinerary.