The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Saturday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court rebutting the court's view there had been "inaction" by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a private plea to sanction the prosecution of ex-telecom minister A Raja in the 2G-spectrum scam.
Detailing the movement of the concerned file between various authorities who dealt with the matter, the 11-page affidavit filed by PMO Director V Vidyawati says the prime minister took action within two days of receiving the request from Janata Party president Subramanium Swamy.
It also says the law ministry advised the PMO to wait for the CBI – which was also investigating – to finish collecting evidence before taking a decision on whether to accord or reject sanction.
The Supreme Court on Thursday had observed that the alleged inaction of the PMO on the plea was an "extremely serious" matter, and demanded an explanation by Saturday.
Swamy, who sought sanction to prosecute Raja on November 29, 2008, had maintained he sent several reminders to the PMO, but got no response till March this year.
But this response too only acknowledged his mail but not providing any decision.
Noting that action began on December 1, 2008, the affidavit provides all the minute details of the file's route from one bureaucrat's table to another's.
Curiously the law ministry's advice to the PMO, as revealed in the affidavit, did not mention at all the judgment in the Vineet Narain which directed that any plea for sanction to prosecute cannot be indefinitely postponed, but must be disposed off within three months.
It was the PMO's failure to meet the three month deadline that mainly irked the Supreme Court.
Instead, the advice provided on February 8, 2010 told the PMO to wait for the outcome of the CBI probe.
The SC had sought to know what was done during the period between November 29, 2008 (when Swamy sought sanction for prosecution) and October 21, 2009 (the day CBI registered an FIR against unknown persons).
During the last hearing, the SC had taken exception to Raja writing to Swamy.
"He (Raja) is not the sanctioning authority," the SC had commented. Swamy told reporters in Dehradun that the PMO Affidavit confirmed all the issues raised by him.
"I am satisfied that the affidavit filed on behalf of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh confirms all my issues with facts," he said.