In an interesting development, the Centre and the CBI on Thursday took divergent stands before the Supreme Court over continuing with the monitoring of 2G spectrum scam probe by the court.
While the CBI requested the court to continue with the monitoring of its probe, the government told the court that it must stop it in view of the fact that the trial court has already taken cognizance of the agency's chargesheet in the case.
The divergence came to the fore during arguments on Subramanian Swamy's plea to direct CBI to probe Chidambaram's alleged role in the 2G scam, on the basis of certain documents provided by him to the agency.
"It is well settled that monitoring by SC will come to an end the moment the chargesheet was filed, and thereafter ordinary process of law would take place," Rao told a bench of justice GS Singhvi and justice AK Ganguly, terming Swamy's plea as "not maintainable". Rao said Swamy should approach special CBI judge Justice OP Saini with his plea.
When the bench asked senior counsel KK Venugopal, representing the CBI, if the probe agency shared the government's view that the monitoring should come to an end, he answered in the negative.
The agency also said it was ready with its status report regarding the probe against Loop Telecom and former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, but it could peruse it only after hearing Swamy's plea. Main-taining that the "statement of Solicitor General stands", Rao said consent meant "monitoring till the law permits."
But the court said it does not depend on the consent of the parties. "Court monitoring is because of widespread malice… These types of cases did not happen in the past," the bench said. The next hearing is on September 27.