As the Opposition and the government differed on the interpretation of the Supreme Court judgment in the 2G case vis-à-vis the Prime Minister, it was announced that the government is examining the manner in which applications for sanction for prosecution of corrupt public servants are to be taken up.
While the BJP insisted that the verdict allowing the plea of Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy for prosecution in the 2G case was an indictment of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister's Office said it was a complete vindication of Dr. Singh.
In a statement, the PMO said: “We welcome the fact that both the learned judges have completely vindicated the Prime Minister whilst appreciating the onerous duties of his office. The government is examining their directions regarding the manner in which applications for sanctions are to be dealt with.”
The statement is based on the observations of the court that had the Prime Minister been apprised of the full facts of the case, he would have taken appropriate action.
The BJP recalled the quashing of the appointment of CVC P.J. Thomas by the Supreme Court in March last. The latest court order amounted to ‘second indictment' of Dr. Singh, it said.
BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad expressed the hope that Dr. Singh would now draw the ‘right lessons' and not defend any corrupt minister. “Today's [Tuesday's] verdict is a severe indictment of the UPA government, particularly the functioning of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The application seeking prosecution of the then Telecom Minister, A. Raja, was kept pending for 16 months.”
Mr. Prasad alleged that Dr. Singh then gave certificates of innocence to Mr. Raja and talked of coalition compulsions. No Prime Minister could defend a corrupt minister in the face of available evidence.
The BJP also sought to know if the UPA government would permit an ‘honest investigation' into the alleged role of the then Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, in the 2G scam.