Natwar Singh asks SC to quash show-cause notice

Natwar Singh asks SC to quash show-cause notice

New Delhi: Former Union minister K. Natwar Singh and his son Jagat Singh asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to quash the December 2006 show-cause notice issued against them by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged violations under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (Fema).

Singh’s lawyer argued that the government had not taken into consideration documents that exonerated the former Congress party member and his son, and that the agency had failed to submit the relevant list of documents under which the existing charges were framed.

Solicitor general Gopal Subramanium countered that the documents -- which include reports by Paul Volcker and R.S. Pathakh into the Iraq oil for food scam -- were not relied upon by the government to frame the charges and were therefore not required to be served.

Singh was supposed to file a reply (within 10 days) to the agency as to why he should not be prosecuted for the charges framed against him in the show-cause notice. Singh failed to meet the deadline for the reply and instead filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court, seeking to quash it, claiming that the reports that absolved him of certain charges, were not being considered by the ED. He has approached the apex court in a special leave petition. The court has heard the matter and will issue a judgment soon.

Natwar Singh was removed from his position as India’s foreign minister after his name appeared in Volcker’s UN report.