Probing spectrum scam in right earnest, CBI tells Supreme Court

Last Updated: Mon, Sep 27, 2010 16:40 hrs

New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has told the Supreme Court that its investigations into the 'very complex and vastly spread' 2G spectrum scam were being carried out in right earnest.

The agency also filed a status report on the probe carried out by it so far. The status report was presented in a sealed cover to the court's registry.

The CBI affidavit was filed Friday by Deputy Inspector General of Police Suresh Kumar Palsania.

Seeking the dismissal of the petition by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), the CBI said it was involved a deep probe into a very complex issue related to allegations of corruption in the allotment of 2G spectrum.

The CPIL has pleaded for the monitoring of the investigation by the apex court.

The petitioners have alleged that Telecom Minister A. Raja as well as senior officials of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), corporate entities and middlemen were involved in the Rs.70,000 crore scam.

The CBI said that it was carrying out the investigations in a 'fair and impartial manner without showing any partiality to any accused or suspect.'

The investigating agency said that facts disclosed in the status report would reveal that given the 'enormity of material and evidence' would show such investigations requires a tremendous amount of work and are time consuming to arrive at the correct conclusion.

Not submitting a detailed reply to the petition by CPIL, the CBI said that given the 'sensitivity of the entire issue the disclosure of the investigation done so far will create prejudice to the case'.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate too has filed its reply and submitted a status report on the investigations carried out by it.

It said that the disclosure of the facts of its investigations would not be in the interest of ongoing investigations and presented its reply in a sealed cover.

The affidavit filed by directorate's Assistant Director Rajeshwar Singh said that on March 9 it registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The affidavit said that directorate has already initiated investigations for alleged violation of foreign exchange law July 27, 2009 against Loop Telecom Limited and Essar Group.

The directorate said that investigation was initiated on the basis of specific written complaint.

The DoT followed the policy of first come first serve in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences and the cut-off date was arbitrarily changed and the licences were awarded to just 120 of the 575 applicants.

The successful companies were allowed to subsequently sell equity and conduct private auctions to 'garner large sums'.

Seeking the investigation by an independent Special Investigating Team, the petitioners told the court that investigation carried out by the CBI were being scuttled to protect the political and corporate interests.

The petition said that the CBI, which was investigating the case, was more or less a department of the central government and had a 'very bad record in (investigating) politically sensitive cases....'

The court was also told that investigation into 2G spectrum scam was 'extremely politically sensitive' as it had already caused 'huge embarrassment to the central government'.

The entire case, the petition said, involves a 'sitting cabinet minister who belongs to a political party which is supporting the government and without which the government cannot survive'.

The role played by the DoT under Raja has been indicted by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the CBI, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Directorate General of Income Tax, the petition said.