The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the agency has not given a clean chit to former union minister Dayanidhi Maran in the 2G spectrum scam case.
At the outset, senior advocate KK Venugopal strongly objected to the allegations made by the petitioner’s advocate Prashant Bhushan, stating that the agency’s investigation in the case was “less than honest.”
Venugopal said that a prima facie inquiry had revealed that the Malaysian firm was in contact with Maran and his brother before taking over the telecom company Aircel.
Venugopal denied to have made a statement exonerating Maran. “We have said that the inquiry conducted so far has not revealed element of coercion on the part of Maran (in connection with the sale of Aircel to Malaysia-based Maxis group),” Venugopal told a bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly.
The CBI said certain section of the media had created a wrong impression through misreporting, following the last hearing. The reports, Venugopal said, wrongly mentioned CBI giving clean chit to Maran.
“There was misinterpretation of the status report (filed on September 2 in a sealed cover, the portion of which was read out),” he said.
The CBI’s submission was in response to an application filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), alleging that the probe has been “less than honest”. The application claimed that the CBI case before a special trial court would collapse and expressed doubts over the probe conducted by the agency.
“Prashant Bhushan filed an application making strong statements against the CBI. It is unfortunate. We have objection to the statement as we are carrying out the orders of this court,” Venugopal said.
But Bhushan iterated his claim that the agency had failed to probe the case properly. At his insistence, the court agreed to hear CPIL’s petition, which requested the court to form a special investigating team to supervise the CBI. The next hearing is on September 20.