Considering the magnitude of the 2G spectrum scam and the higher-ups involved in it, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to consider setting up a special court to try the case expeditiously.
A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly, after perusing the status reports submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate, made it clear that the CBI should go after the beneficiaries of the 2G spectrum scam if there was prima facie evidence of their role and involvement.
The status reports explained the four arrests so far made by the CBI, including that of the former Communications Minister A. Raja, the money trail of the beneficiaries of the spectrum licences and the role of corporate houses.
Justice Singhvi told Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati: “The government must come out with an assurance that it will set up an exclusive court for this case. There is no parallel to this case and we want the authorities concerned to give top priority to it.”
“Law must catch those who think they are above law”
He told senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the CBI: “We have a large number of persons who consider themselves above the law. The law must catch them. It should be done with greater expedition. Merely because they are in the Forbes list of millionaires, it does not make any difference.”
Justice Singhvi said: “This investigation has led to prima facie conclusion about the culpability of four persons. What about the beneficiaries? They are part of a larger conspiracy. We want to know about them. You [the CBI] take instructions and tell us what action you are planning to take.”
The court made it clear to the AG that the powers of the CBI should not be curtailed and it must be given a free hand. The AG assured the court that since it was monitoring the investigation, the government would not stand in the way of any direction being issued.
“Reveal the names of other conspirators”
Justice Singhvi wanted the CBI to go beyond the role of the four persons already arrested and reveal the names of other conspirators.
The judge expressed surprise over the CBI seeking short custodial remands of the accused and said that since it was a very complicated matter, it must be given a free hand to seek longer remand. Otherwise, the whole purpose of the investigation would be defeated.