Home >politics >policy >2G case: SC keeps K.K. Venugopal as amicus curiae

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has nixed the government’s plan to change its representative in the 2G case hearings midway, requesting lawyer K.K. Venugopal to continue.

The court’s directive effectively neutralised a decision by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to remove Venugopal as its lawyer. In July, the finance ministry, under which the ED works, asked the agency to remove Venugopal.

The finance ministry’s move, according to news agency Press Trust of India, was in connection with a note Venugopal wrote last year on a government order transferring an ED officer investigating money laundering offences in the 2G case to his parent cadre. Venguopal reportedly wrote the note, which was contrary to the government’s stand, without consulting the ED or revenue department.

Venugopal has represented both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED in the 2G hearings. The apex court is monitoring the probes into alleged irregularities in the 2008 allocation of 2G spectrum and licences.

The lawyer told the apex court on Wednesday that it would be his last day as the CBI counsel as well. “The CBI case (in the 2G matters) are almost over. I don’t want to continue," Venugopal said.

A bench comprising chief justice H.L. Dattu and justice Arun Mishra was firm. Expressing its solidarity with the senior lawyer, who was awarded the Padma Vibhushan recently, the court said, “We are at the fag end of these matters. Please continue at our request...We want you to be with us as amicus (amicus curiae—friend of court) till this matter is over."

In its order, the court said, “We request Shri K.K. Venugopal, respected senior counsel, to continue to assist us in these matters by appearing for the Central Bureau of Investigation as well as the Enforcement Directorate.

“We direct the CBI and ED to continue to instruct Mr. Venugopal (in these matters)," the court added.

The Centre for Public Interest Litigation, the petitioner in the 2G case, and Bharatiya Janata Party politician Subramanian Swamy said that they wanted Venugopal to stay on as amicus curiae.

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