2G scam: Supreme Court rejects plea against Chidambaram

Last Updated: Fri, Aug 24, 2012 06:41 hrs
India's Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram speaks during a news conference in Srinagar

New Delhi: In a huge relief for the Congress-led UPA government, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed two petitions seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation against Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the 2G telecom scam.

The apex court has found the petitions not maintainable and dismissed the requests of petitioners Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy and lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan that Chidambaram be investigated for his alleged role in the telecom scam.

Swamy had moved the court challenging the trial court order, which had held that Chidambaram did not indulge in any criminal conspiracy in the 2G scam, and refused to make him an accused in the case.

According to Swamy, Chidambaram must be held responsible for the telecom scam as it took place while he was the finance minister.

He contended the Union minister was aware of A. Raja's actions and that Chidambaram should have intervened, in the country's interest, at the time of framing of policy to allocate the spectrum.

The 2G scam involved government officials, who undercharged mobile telephony companies for frequency allocation licenses, which they would use to create 2G subscriptions for cell phones.

The shortfall between the money collected and the money which the law mandated to be collected was estimated to be Rupees 176,645 crore by Comptroller and Auditor General of India based on 3G and BWA spectrum auction prices which was held in 2010. However the exact loss is disputed.

In a charge sheet filed on April 2, 2011 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the agency pegged the loss at Rupees 30,984.55 crore, whereas the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India claims that the government actually gained Rupees 3,000 crore (598.5 million dollars) by selling the spectrum. 

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