The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the CBI, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the centre to respond to the allegations, accusing the two investigating agencies of not slapping corruption charges against promoters of Essar and Loop, and not naming any government official as an accused in its third chargesheet in the 2G spectrum scam.
Seeking a response on a petition filed by an NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), a bench of Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly gave 10 days to the respondents to file their affidavits. The court fixed January 20 to hear the matter.
According to CPIL, the agency director had overruled investigators’ opinion to slap corruption charges against government officials who granted 2G spectrum license to Loop violating rules. Loop was apparently not eligible for the license as it was an associate of Essar.
The NGO has also accused CBI of not acting against former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran despite filing an FIR in the Aircel-Maxis deal. It also levelled allegations against law minister Salman Khurshid of interfering in the probe.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan contended that CBI’s decision not to book Essar Group and its promoters under Prevention of Corruption Act was ‘facilitated’ by the intervention of Khurshid. The bench, however, discouraged Bhushan from arguing further by saying the minister was not a party before the court.
CPIL also demanded that the agency should probe the role of Shyam Telelink Limited, which got licences, during the tenure of former telecom minister A Raja.
Meanwhile, the Delhi HC agreed to hear pleas of Essar Teleholdings Ltd, Loop Telecom Ltd, stating they could not be tried by special CBI courts as they were not charged under PCA offences. The matter was deferred till January 10.