A special CBI court on Thursday finally allowed Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy to become a witness in support of his private complaint seeking home minister P Chidambaram’s prosecution in the 2G scam.
Immediately after news of this order spread, the Opposition stalled Parliament, demanding the minister’s resignation and also indicating that this could be the UPA’s next big headache.
Rejecting the Opposition’s demand as "extremely unfair", law minister Salman Khurshid said: "It is like saying the moment you move an application, everybody mentioned in it should be hauled up. It can’t be done. That is not the law of this land."
The court partially allowed the application of Swamy, who has not only sought to record his statement but also wants to examine some government officials, to press his case that Chidambaram, who was finance minister during the 2G spectrum allocation, was as culpable as former telecom minister A Raja in deciding the spectrum prices and entry fee.
In his three-page order, special judge OP Saini said the two witnesses mentioned in Swamy’s application “shall be allowed to be summoned only after the relevance of their testimony is explained (to the court) by the complainant (Swamy).”
Swamy will appear as a witness on December 17 when, he claimed, he would provide prima facie evidence on Chidambaram’s alleged role in the scam.
Reacting to media reports, the CBI clarified that “the special court order does not give any go-ahead to Shri Swamy to examine the witnesses”.
In Parliament, the BJP-led NDA blocked both Houses with its demand for Chidambaram’s resignation. “It has been our stand that if A Raja is guilty, so is P Chidambaram; if Raja’s resignation has been sought, the same should apply to Chidambaram,” said Sushma Swaraj, leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha.
The NDA had announced a boycott of the home minister at the start of the winter session.
Chidambaram, on his part, has hinted that he is being targeted for pursuing cases of saffron terror.