The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday asked the CBI counsel to submit names of CBI, I-T department and Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials who could inquire further into the tapped telephonic conversations between corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and corporate bigwigs to ascertain whether there is an element of criminality in it.
A bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice SJ Mukopadhyaya directed additional solicitor general Haren Rawal to submit the names by Thursday. It also said that an order to constitute a team for probing the contents of the tapes would be pronounced on February 21.
The bench, meanwhile, also asked CBI to file a status report in the 2G case. The court made an oblique reference to the recent revelation of a conversation between a CBI prosecutor and Unitech managing director Sanjay Chandra, one of the accused in the 2G case.
Rawal had contended that the special team should have only CBI officers. He said involvement of other agencies would make the task difficult. The plea was, however, opposed by Prashant Bhushan, the counsel for NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation.
He alleged that the CBI had in the past failed to initiate an action into the 2G scam for almost two years after lodging the FIR.
"My suggestion would be a team, comprising officers from CBI, I-T department and the ED be constituted and an independent person, like a retired judge or a person who is not from the government, should either supervise or head the investigation," Bhushan told the court.
The court also warned the CBI that it would take a very "serious" view of any "leak" of the tapped conversation to the media.
"We will take a very serious view of anybody leaking it... Still there are some people who are leaking something to media..." Justice Singhvi said.