New Delhi: The Supreme Court today directed Janata Party chief Subramanium Swamy to submit all his correspondence with the CBI in connection with his plea to investigate former Finance Minister P Chidambaram for his alleged role in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
The court said it would first go through those documents and then, if necessary, seek response from the CBI and the government.
"Place on record your all correspondence with CBI," a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said while asking Swamy to file an affidavit within a week along with all relevant documents and his communication with the CBI Director for proceeding against Chidambaram.
The government, however, vehemently opposed Swamy's plea and said that if he has any evidence then he should place before the CBI which is investigating the case.
"Instead of coming directly to the Supreme Court, he should go to CBI," senior advocate P P Rao, appearing for the Centre said adding "whatever evidence is there, it should be placed before the agency.
"CBI has already looked into the matter and found nothing. My handicap is that I am not CBI. Unless I get CBI report I cannot say anything. It is for the CBI to tell you," Rao contended while asking the bench not to entertain such petitions.
The bench, however, expressed reservations over his plea saying, "Do we have any rule that when an application is filed and allegations are made it cannot be placed before us."
Swamy, in his arguments pleaded that the pricing of 2G spectrum was fixed by the then Telecom Minister A Raja and the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram and their role should be probed by the agency.
Swamy claimed, "There is overwhelming evidence of his (Chidambaram) involvement in the pricing of spectrum. Raja is behind the bar on the issue. So there should be proper investigation against Chidambaram also."
He said "he had written to the CBI and filed a complaint but it appears that CBI is quite shy on questioning Chidambaram".
Swamy said under the 2003 decision of the Empowered Group of Ministers, approved by the Cabinet, the pricing formula for spectrum was required to be finalised jointly by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Ministry of Finance.
"A pricing formula for spectrum, would not be valid and binding until it had the concurrence of both the DoT and MoF," he said adding that Chidambaram was the Finance Minister when the spectrum allocation was made.
"Hence, to fully investigate and fix culpability for the charge of cheating the government exchequer by non-revision of entry fee", it is necessary to interrogate Chidambaram and then evaluate his responses, he said.
Swamy's plea was supported by advocate Prashant Bhushan, who was appearing for an NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation.
"I fully support and agree this is a matter which needs to be investigated," Bhushan said.
Bhushan also questioned CBI for not charge-sheeting the Tatas who he claimed were one of the biggest beneficiaries of out-of-turn allotment of the spectrum and potrayed them as a victim just because they didn't get spectrum in Delhi circle.
The CPIL alleged CBI has also not chargesheeted Attorney General G E Vahanvati, who as the then Solicitor General, gave opinion to former Telecom Minister A Raja on the issue of licences for the 2G spectrum.
Vahanvati, who has been made a witness in the case, has denied all allegations against him.
Bhushan also said there have been several shortcomings in the CBI probe in the case as the agency has not mentioned at all in its charge sheets about TRAI Act violations as DoT, without following mandatory Section 11 procedure, unilaterally deviated from TRAI recommendations on issue of new licenses.
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Updated Date: Sep 08, 2011 21:22:49 IST