The Supreme Court on Friday said senior counsel Uday Lalit was its favourite for appointment as the special public prosecutor to lead prosecution case in 2G scam trial, but announced it would pass directions on the issue only on Monday.
The apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly said: "We intend to direct the Union of India to appoint U.U. Lalit as special public prosecutor with liberty to select his team of lawyers."
Appearing for the central government, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Indira Jaisingh said, "We will consider our position once the order is passed and before we take any further action."
When court said that its order would be in the nature of direction, Jaisingh said it is the prerogative of the court to issue direction.
As Jaisingh said, "It is your prerogative", Justice Singhvi said, "Our prerogative is always within the parameters of law."
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Harin Rawal referred to the earlier judgment of the apex court to buttress the point that the appointment of special public prosecutor under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act was in the domain of the central government.
Earlier, the central government in its submission told the court that the "Union of India, after an indepth consideration of the matter, and in discharge of its obligations under the statutory provisions, will make necessary appointment of a special public prosecutor in respect of both the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) matter as well as the Money Laundering matter within in one week from today (Friday)."
The central government said this in response to the court seeking clarification on the scope of the Section 46(2) of the Money Laundering Act.
The Section 46(2) of the act reads, "A person shall not be qualified to be appointed as a public prosecutor or a special public prosecutor under this section unless he has been in practice as an advocate for not less than seven years, under the Union or a atate, requiring special knowledge of law."
Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal told the court this provision could not be read to mean that one has worked for the union of India or the state government.
He reiterated that Lalit had worked as panel lawyer for the Maharashtra government for 15 years and also for the Congress government of Amarinder Singh in Punjab in the case against the current Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal.
Meanwhile, the court said that notwithstanding the adjournment of the hearing till April 11, the special court trying 2G scam case would hold hearing on day-to-day basis without any adjournment on any score.
The apex court barred all other courts from entertaining any plea arising out of the proceedings of the trial court in 2G scam.
The court said that all such pleas or applications would come before it. Rawal said this would mean "no court will pass an order that will impinge upon the proceedings of the (2G scam) case".