2G: SC reserves order on monitoring panel

2G: SC reserves order on monitoring panel

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 10, 2011 20:12 hrs

The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its judgment on the petitions seeking a monitoring committee to supervise the investigation into the 2G scam, involving top politicians, bureaucrats and telecom companies.

The main petition, moved by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, wanted monitoring by a panel consisting of two eminent and independent persons on the ground that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) could not be trusted with such a sensitive case.

The consistent stand of the CBI was that it was doing its best and even on Monday, its counsel K K Venugopal pointed out the first information report filed against former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran. Earlier, previous communications minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi had been arrested and charge-sheeted in the scam. The counsel submitted that there was no need for a supervisory panel, as the CBI was pursuing all leads and it has shown results.

During the hearing, Janata Party leader Subramaniam Swamy also intervened and opened a front against Home Minister P Chidambaram. He produced the letter sent by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to the Prime Minister which indicated that Chidambaram was aware of Raja’s decision to change the policy of selecting telecom companies to favour certain companies. This will be one of the points on which the judgment is eagerly awaited.

The bench consisting of Justice G S Singhvi and Justice A K Ganguly has been hearing the case continuously for over a month.

The filing of the case had led to the arrest of Raja and executives of several telecom companies.

A special bench was also set up during the pendency of the case to try the accused persons.

Counsel for the Centre for PIL, Prashant Bhushan, wanted a probe against Reliance Telecom and its associates, as the Anil Ambani-controlled companies used shadow entities to get licences. He wanted the top brass to be implicated instead of the executives who merely carried out orders from top.

The central government counsel, P P Rao, argued that the court should not take up the monitoring of the case, as the whole matter was before the special court. When the special court is dealing with the charges, the Supreme Court should not add new persons as accused or interfere in the trial proceedings. He complained that the Supreme Court hearings and the media reports tended to influence the course of justice at the trial court.

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