SC asks govt to respond to CAG report on 2G scam

SC asks govt to respond to CAG report on 2G scam

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the government to respond to the CAG report pointing out large-scale irregularities and favoritism allegedly by telecom minister A Raja in the Rs70,000 crore 2G spectrum allocation scam in 2008.

A bench comprising justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly asked solicitor general Gopal Subramanium to go through the draft report alleging that the ministry of telecom ignored the advice of the law ministry and the Prime Minister and allocated the license by favouring “ineligible" companies at the lower rate on first-cum-first basis by arbitrarily deciding the cut off date.

The bench posted the matter for 22 October without perusing the status reports filed by CBI and Enforcement Directorate into the investigations in the case.

It returned the reports filed in sealed covers to both the agencies stating that it will consider them during the next date of hearing.

Raja was represented by senior advocate TR Andhyarujina who was asked to be supplied with the copy of the CAG report.

Earlier, Subramanium said he would like to allay any apprehension that investigations would not be fair. “We are bound to conduct fair investigation," he added.

However, he said it would be premature to say anything at this stage about the final conclusion of the investigations in which more than one government agencies are involved.

The solicitor general said FIR relating to the scam was registered against unnamed persons a year ago and the matter has undergone judicial scrutiny in the Delhi high court and the apex court.

“Today, we have a situation where co-ordination is required between CBI and other government agencies like ED, Income Tax department and others," he submitted and pleaded that six months time be granted for a comprehensive probe.

He said transcript of the tape involving telephonic conversation between several persons, including corporate lobbyist Nira Radia and some journalists, have to be examined as it has a bearing on the allocation of 2G spectrum.

However, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO which has alleged financial irregularities by Raja in connivance with certain middlemen including Niira Radia, alleged the probe by CBI was not fair as even after the registration of FIR a year ago, none of the persons has been interrogated or arrested.

He said neither Raja nor Radia has been interrogated or arrested till now despite the tapped conversation clearly throwing sufficient light on their alleged involvement in the scam.