The probe into the national security angle of the 2G spectrum scam took a curious turn with the Centre and Maharashtra differing on Shahid Balwa's links with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
While the home ministry has said that Balwa, one of the main accused, is a "Dawood man", the Maharashtra government has given him a clean chit before the Delhi high court saying it had found "nothing incriminating" against him despite separate probes by its police commissioner and anti-terror squad.
HT has a copy of Maharashtra’s affidavit.
The affidavit before HC by NM Shinde, a senior official in the Maharashtra government says: "…office of police commissioner forwarded a report vide letter January 17, 2011 to state government saying nothing adverse has been found against Balwa from the record of Mumbai police. Police commissioner also called for records from the anti-terrorist squad, which conducted detailed enquiries and nothing incriminating has been found against Balwa."
Maharashtra's affidavit came in response to a court notice to ascertain its views on Balwa's petition seeking to clear him of charges levelled by the home ministry accusing him of having links with Dawood.
Balwa, former director of Etisalat DB Realty (earlier Swan Telecom), was arrested in connection with the scam on February 7, 2011 in Mumbai. He had moved the Delhi HC on December 3, 2010.
Balwa had moved court against an official note from the home ministry recommending Foreign Investment Promotion Board to deny permission to Etisalat to invest money in a Chennai-based firm. One of the four reasons cited in the ministry note was that Balwa has links with the underworld.
Senior SC lawyer Rajiv Nayar, defending Balwa said, "Balwa is being unfairly maligned ... Report of the Maharashtra government where he stays and runs his business from, is in our favour…There has to be an early decision on his plea to ... clear him of underworld links."
The Supreme Court is looking into the national security angle in the scam ever since allegations surfaced that some accused had links with the underworld.