2G case: SC asks Govt to file affidavit by Saturday

2G case: SC asks Govt to file affidavit by Saturday

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to file by Saturday an affidavit on Prime Minister Manamohan Singh’s “alleged inaction" on a plea seeking sanction to prosecute ex-Telecom minister A. Raja in the 2G spectrum scam case, calling the matter “extremly serious."

The Apex Court also said the CAG report on the 2G spectrum allocation placed in Parliament was “revealing."

Solicitor general Gopal Subramanium later told reporters the affidavit would be filed before the apex court tomorrow.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Swamy, the president of Janta Party, that had sought a direction to the Prime Minister for grant of sanction for prosecution of Raja when he was the telecom minister. The DMK leader has since resigned on Sunday in the wake of mounting pressure on him in the wake of the spectrum allocation controversy.

A bench comprising Justices G. S. Singhvi and A. K. Ganguly granted time to the Centre to file the affidavit after Subramanium said he is in a position to place before it the entire record on the issue and file an affidavit on behalf of the government.

The bench also asked Swamy that if he wants to file any affidavit, he can do so by Monday. It posted the matter for further hearing on Tuesday.

After a brief hearing, the bench asked the solicitor general to file an affidavit giving details on the issue “so that tomorrow you may not say that the opportunity was not given to place the records".

During the course of the submissions by the solicitor general, the court said, “All these statements are oral, it will be extremely serious if we find ultimately that something is kept back from this court, so it will be appropriate to file an affidavit."

Swamy said he had also received a letter from Raja that why sanction would not be granted on his plea.

At this point, the bench said how can Raja write such a letter. “He is not a sanctioning authority. We cannot consider it," the court said.

The bench also took on record the CAG report submitted in Parliament.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, said the observations made in the CAG report were damaging.

To this, the bench said, “Why are you saying it is damaging, it is revealing."

At the outset, the solicitor general submitted to the court that he has already gone through all records pertaining to Swamy’s complaint against Raja to the Prime Minister and the detailed communication between him and the PMO.

He sought to assert that total transparency was maintained on the issue.

Swamy, however, contended that he received only one letter from the PMO in March 2010 on his plea seeking prosecution of Raja. “There was no other letter," he said.

The soilicitor general also said the court observations did not amount to passing strictures on the prime minister. “If judges cannot ask questions, then who will ask the questions. We know how to deal with questions and we will answer them," he said.

“Whatever was said (in the court) was part of a debate which takes place when a matter is adjudicated," he added.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday had asked some embarrassing questions on lengthy delay on the part of the Prime Minister in taking a decision on Swamy’s plea, calling the “alleged inaction and silence" troubling.