New Delhi: Government on Tuesday opposed in the Supreme Court any CBI probe against home minister P Chidambaram in connection with the 2G spectrum case.
“There is no need to pass any order on the interim application (filed by Swamy),” senior advocate P P Rao, appearing for the Centre told a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly.
Union home minister P Chidambaram at a function in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy has sought a direction to the CBI to initiate investigations against the senior Congress leader and former finance minister.
During the course of the hearing, CBI raised objections to the Centre’s stand that the investigating agency will be looking into the documents placed by Swamy and file a status report before the court.
“CBI is autonomous and CBI is independent,” CBI counsel and senior advocate K K Venugopal said, adding an impression has been created in the section of media that the agency was defending Chidambaram.
Swamy sought to make differentiation between his application filed before the apex court and the pending complaint before the special court saying that he was approaching the Supreme Court as the trial court did not have the jurisdiction to direct CBI probe in any given case.
He replied in affirmative to the bench’s question that he was seeking a direction for the CBI to probe the alleged role of Chidambaram on the documents placed by him.
The Centre, which has questioned the jurisdiction of the apex court on the monitoring of the probe after the filing of the two chargesheets in the case, said the 2G case should now be left to the trial court and the CBI.
“There is no reason to believe that CBI will not discharge its function,” Rao told the bench, while clarifying that he was only appearing for the Centre in the case.
Rao said he is not appearing for any individual.
“I am not appearing for any person. I am only appearing for Union of India,“ he said and added that the identical application by Swamy was pending before the special judge O P Saini and the apex has no jurisdiction to entertain his plea.
During the last hearing on 22 September, the CBI had blamed the department of telecommunication (DoT) for “jumping the gun” in spectrum allocation and had pleaded with the bench not to pass any order on Swamy’s plea for a CBI probe.
The agency had said Chidambaram, who was then the finance minister, cannot be held responsible for the decision not to auction the radio waves as the ministry of finance was represented on the issue by the finance secretary during its meeting with the ministry of telecom then headed by A Raja.
Like the CBI, the Centre also said the apex court can continue to monitor probe of other two cases about the alleged role of former union minister Dayanidhi Maran and the corporate house, Essar Group and Loop Telecom in the scam.
However, Swamy said CBI probe into the 2G scam was “truncated” and large number of documents brought by him on the alleged culpability of Chidambaram, who was then the finance minister, has not been denied.
“The material I have submitted fix squarely that Chidambaram was in the know of the commission of offence,” he said, adding that former jailed telecom minister A Raja alone cannot be held responsible for the scam.
“Raja and Chidambaram had a meeting of mind in the commission of offence. Investigation by the CBI is a truncated investigation,” Swamy said.
He said the investigating agency cannot segregate the prosecution of Raja.