The Supreme Court issued a notice on Wednesday to the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government and its principal secretary on the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) allegation that state officials were trying to "harass and browbeat" the investigators in the 2G scam.
The court stayed all proceedings in the public interest suit moved by a lawyer in the Allahabad High Court involving the investigator, Rajeshwar Singh. The apex court also directed the state government and all its officers not to proceed with inquiries against him. The government has been asked to file its reply within 10 days.
According to sources, Singh has been looking into the Sahara real estate companies, as well as the 2G scam. Earlier, there were reports that media outlets run by the Sahara group were quizzing Singh on several personal affairs. The state government has continued the harassment, as was revealed in the court on Wednesday.
CBI counsel K K Venugopal narrated the harassment suffered by the officer through litigation and investigation against him. The government was "terrorising" him and acting so because of its closeness with the Sahara Group, the counsel said. Although CBI and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) have found no case against the officer, the state government is persisting on reinvestigation.
The bench headed by G S Singhvi observed that the administrative apparatus appears to be employed to browbeat investigating officers. "If this is allowed to happen, none will be prepared to investigate such cases," the court remarked. "God has been kind to the officer; at least he is alive, he has survived."
Later, Venugopal handed over several status reports regarding the continuing investigation into the 2G scam. The reports, which are part of the continuing monitoring into the 2G scam, will be taken up tomorrow afternoon.
Although the reports are confidential and in the custody of the judges, it is learnt that they involve Loop and Essar.
The court indicated that the whole issue will be heard on a day-to-day basis from the second week of January.
Centre for Public Interest Litigation's (CPIL) counsel Prashant Bhushan requested the bench that his application seeking investigation against Airtel and Vodafone in the 2G scam should be taken up on tomorrow afternoon. The judges agreed to this. CPIL's application alleges that these two companies were also beneficiaries in the 2002 allocation of excess spectrum.