In a relief to Union telecom minister Kapil Sibal, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to pass any order on a plea seeking the CBI probe against the minister.
The allegations were that Sibal had favoured Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infocomm by reducing a penalty imposed on the company for alleged violations of the licence condition.
The special bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly said: “No orders are required.” The court's verbal direction came after advocate Prashant Bhushan requested the court to direct the CBI from investigating Sibal's decision to reduce the penalty imposed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on RComm from R50 crore to R5 crore.
“We have indicated our mind,” the bench said when senior advocate Rohinton Nariman, who appeared for the government replacing solicitor general Gopal Subramanium, asked the court to pass formal orders.
“Let his affidavit not be taken on the file," Nariman said opposing the allegations made in the latest affidavit filed by NGO Centre for Public Interest and Litigation. Declining to entertain Bhushan's affidavit, the court said: “If there is any irregularity allegedly connected whatsoever with telecom, it cannot be linked to the 2G. If there is a cause of action arising, remedy can be availed at the appropriate forum. Whether it's right or wrong (Sibal's decision), a separate cause of action arises. It is open for the CBI to investigate.”
The court also refrained from passing any order on Bhushan's second plea to appoint two independent persons to assist the court in evaluating CBI and enforcement directorate's investigation. “This amounts to outsourcing our own work,” the bench commented.