Two Indian telecoms executives cannot be tried in a case against their respective companies over alleged irregularities in mobile licensing, the Supreme Court ruled Friday, according to dpa.
Sunil Mittal, chairman of India's top cellular service provider, Bharti Airtel Ltd and Ravi Ruia, founder of the conglomerate Essar Group, were summoned by a lower court over the allocation of mobile spectrum by the government in 2002.
But Friday's ruling found that summons was wrong in assuming that the executives were vicariously liable for the alleged acts of their companies, their lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said.
The charges submitted to the lower court by the Central Bureau of Investigation did not name Mittal or Ruia.
But in March 2013, the court had ruled there was enough material to proceed against the executives in person. Mittal and Ruia then approached the Supreme Court challenging the order.
The probe into the 2002 case follows a bigger investigation related to a 2008 sale of telecoms licences below market prices.
The 2008 case cost the exchequer 40 billion dollars in lost earnings according to government auditors, and made headlines as charges were brought against the then telecommunications minister and more than a dozen other executives, bureaucrats and politicians.