Probe Chidambaram's role in 2G case: Swamy to SC
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy today told the Supreme Court that the Central Bureau of Investigation probe in the 2G case was not focusing on the role of the then finance minister and present home minister P Chidambaram in the fixing of the price of licence and spectrum allocated in January 2008.delhi Updated: Sep 08, 2011 21:23 IST
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the 2G case was not focusing on the role of the then finance minister and present home minister P Chidambaram in the fixing of the price of licence and spectrum allocated in January 2008.
Swamy told an apex court bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly that if the then communications minister A Raja could be investigated by the CBI on the grounds of fixing the price of 2G licence and spectrum rolled into one, then Chidambaram could not escape a similar investigation.
The CBI told the court that a section of media had misreported that it had given a clean chit to former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran for his role in the Aircel imbroglio.
Swamy said that the price of 2G licence and spectrum that was allocated in 2008 was jointly decided by the Raja and Chidambaram.
The court adjourned the hearing after senior counsel PP Rao said that the Janata Party president had not filed the complete correspondence he had on the issue with the investigating agency.
Rao told the court that if an intervener like Swamy had any grievance with regards to investigation in the 2G scam then he could move the trial court.
He told the court that that in an ongoing investigation, if a third party had any material then it could pass on the same to the investigating agency.
Directing Swamy to file an affidavit bringing on record his two communications with the CBI and the replies by the investigating agency, the court fixed the next hearing Sep 20.
If the CBI was considering examining the then finance minister in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government Jaswant Singh merely because he chaired the Empowered Group of Minister on Telecom, then there could be no inhibitions in investigating the role of Chidambaram under the United Progressive Alliance, Swamy told the court.
Swamy pointed to an assertion by Raja that Dubai-based Emirates Telecommunication Corp (Etisalat) and Norwegian telecom firm Telenor ASA were given 2G licence after a nod by the finance ministry which was in violation of the security advisory by the home ministry against these two operators.
The CBI told the court that a section of media had misreported that it had given a clean chit to Maran for his role in the Aircel deal.
Senior counsel KK Venugopal, who appeared for the CBI, said that the only thing that the investigating agency had told the court in its status report was that there was no evidence to suggest that there was "coercion" by the former minister.
There were heated arguments when Venugopal objected to Centre for Public Interest Litigation's (CPIL) senior counsel Prashant Bhushan describing the CBI investigation against Maran as "less than honest".
The CPIL said this in response to CBI's earlier submission that there was no evidence of Maran allegedly forcing C Sivasakaran to sell his stakes in telecom company Aircel to Malasiya-based Maxis group.
Seeking the setting up of a committee of three experts to supervise and monitor investigations into the 2G scam, Bhushan said that the investigating agency was picking on people who were serving under the actual beneficiaries of the scam.
He told the court that nothing had been done to book the actual beneficiaries.
The court adjourned the hearing for Sep 21-22.