2G: Supreme Court clears Chidambaram

Last Updated: Fri, Aug 24, 2012 12:15 hrs

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed petitions for a CBI investigation against Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the 2G scam, bringing a huge relief to the Congress politician and the scam-embattled United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

The apex court said there was no material against Chidambaram after hearing the petitions filed by Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy and NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) led by lawyer and activist Prashant Bhusan.

"I think this is a very bad judgement," said a disappointed Swamy. He said he would file a review of the judgement.

He said he was stopped in the middle of the arguments.

"The court said I did not provide evidence of a conspiracy by Chidambaram. Where did I speak about conspiracy? I talked about loss to the national exchequer," he said.

Supreme Court itself had cancelled the 2G licences, Swamy said.

Swamy said he never produced any material to back criminal intention but had focused on national loss.

The bench of Justice G S Singhvi and Justice K S Radhakrishnan gave the verdict upholding a special court decision earlier.

The apex court said no case was made out to interfere with the special CBI court order.

The Congress party, which was elated over the verdict, said they had all along maintained that Chidambaram was innocent.

"Chidambaram had nothing to do with 2G. There was no criminality on his part and as the finance minister he had done his job," said Minister of State in Prime Minister´s Office V Narayanasamy.

The petitions sought that the minister be probed for his alleged role in the telecom swindle, allegedly masterminded by former telecoms minister A Raja, where mobile airwaves and licenses were sold to carriers in a biased way in lieu of kickbacks.

Swamy´s petition, that had been turned down in February by a special CBI court, said that Chidambaram must be held responsible for allowing the telecom scam, that allegedly cost the treasury as much as Rs 1.76 lakh crore, on his watch as Finance Minister.

The application filed by former Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan on behalf of CPIL said that a "thorough investigation" is required to probe the role of Chidambaram in the scandal who allegedly overruled his officers who favoured a fairer allocation process.

Finance Minister Chidambaram, who was also held the post at the time of the 2008 allocation process -- which was declared invalid by the Supreme Court earlier this year -- denied all charges.

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