New Delhi: Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy on Monday accused the law ministry and government law officers of wrongly advising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to wait for evidence before deciding on sanction to prosecute former telecom minister A. Raja in the 2G spectrum case.
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“It is regrettable that law officers of the government had failed to apprise the PM of the law of the land that he must decide on the sanction question only on the material provided by me,” Swamy, who sought Raja’s prosecution, told the Supreme Court in his nine-page affidavit, submitted to the court’s registry.
The Prime Minister’s affidavit to the court on Saturday had disclosed that the law ministry had advised him to wait for the CBI to gather the oral and documentary evidence before deciding on the question of prosecuting Raja.
“The Prime Minister made independent inquiries on the substance of my material provided in the these letters, which is against the judgements of this court,” Swamy said.
Swamy also questioned the decision of the Prime Minister’s Office to refer his plea to prosecute Raja to telecom ministry, terming it as “patently illegal” and against various apex court’s rulings on the issue.
“The Prime Minister had forwarded my petition to the accused minister Raja for conveying his (the latter’s) defence to me. Raja then wrote to him a letter dated 18 June, 2009,” said Swamy
“This too is against the judgements of this court wherein it is held that in a petition for sanction there is no lis (dispute). Hence sending my letter of 29 November, 2008 to Raja was patently illegal,” he said.
Swamy also lashed out at the functioning of top bureaucrats working in the PMO, accusing them of trying to protect Raja and causing inordinate delay in deciding over his plea to prosecute him for allocation of the spectrum to alleged ineligible operators at throw-away prices.
“The affidavit under consideration (filed by the PMO) details the sorry state of bureaucratic affairs in the nation’s highest seat of executive power, it appears to be geared to block any legal action against the corrupt acts of ministers,” said Swamy in his affidavit.
“These officers have even flouted the Manual of Office Procedure [Volume II on Procedure in dealing with statutory matters, letters from persons and inter-Ministerial communications] which they are obliged to follow,” Swamy pointed out.
Swamy also pleaded to the court to lay down firm guidelines to ensure that no plea by a private citizen seeking prosecution of the high and the mighty are frustrated by red tape.
“The court may, therefore, lay down guidelines so that such deliberate obfuscation by the bureaucracy in such an important matter of prosecuting corruption, is rectified, so that in the future a citizen’s public spirited efforts to set the law in motion is not rendered sterile,” Swamy said.