A big day coming up for Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, a day that could seal his political fate.
That fate hinges on two developments that might unfold today: the first is an expected ruling by the Supreme Court on Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy’s petition seeking a CBI investigation into Chidambaram’s alleged role in the 2G scam.
If the court orders a CBI investigation, Chidambaram will perforce have to resign.
The second is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s return from his overseas travel, which will trigger another round of political jockeying within the UPA government, which has been forced on the defensive in the 2G scam case in the light of the latest revelations.
Of the two, the more significant development will be the Supreme Court ruling.
Yesterday, the Patiala House trial court hearing Swamy’s petition seeking to make Chidambaram an accused in the 2G scam case deferred the hearing on the case until October 12. Although that gives the Congress and Chidambaram a bit of a breather, a favourable Supreme Court ruling today (on Swamy’s petition) would give the green flag to the trial court proceedings, Swamy pointed out.
Swamy has alleged that the issue of spectrum pricing was decided by former telecom minister A Raja along with Chidambaram, who was then the finance minister.
Swamy has also filed documents in the court showing that between January and July 2008, Raja and Chidambaram has met on four occasions to decide spectrum prices.
The Central Government and the CBI have opposed Swamy's petition for an investigation into Chidambaram's alleged role in the scam and told the Supreme Court that it cannot interfere or direct police to make any person an accused.
Swamy has said that he will plead in the Supreme Court that he had provided a large amount of documentary proof of Chidambaram's involvement in the 2G scam, but that the CBI had not even questioned Chidambaram.
Swamy said that Chidambaram would be represented in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by his counsel PP Rao.
Early on Tuesday, Swamy said: "Today could be a turning point in our modern history. But we should train ourselves not to be ecstatic in victory or depressed by reverse."
Speculation continues about whether or not Chidambaram offered to resign when he met UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi yesterday at her 10 Janpath residence in New Delhi.
Later on Monday evening, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee too met Sonia Gandhi to explain his version of the story in the wake of the controversy over the Finance Ministry’s note in the 2G case.
In a related development in the 2G case on Monday, the CBI filed fresh charges that could lead to life imprisonment for all accused. Thus far, the charges against the accused could have led to a maximum imprisonment of seven years but by imposing Section 409 (Criminal breach of public trust) of the Indian Penal Code, the CBI is pushing for life imprisonment term for all the accused if they are found guilty.
The accused include Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and business tycoons like Shahid Usman Balwa (DB Realty owner and promoter of Swam telecom) and Sharat Kumar of Kalaignar TV.
Updated Date: Sep 27, 2011 14:15 PM