Also rejects petition to arraign as accused Anil Ambani, Dayalu Ammal in case
The special court hearing the 2G spectrum scam case on Thursday rejected two private complaints — one seeking further investigation by the CBI into the alleged roles of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata, and the other demanding that Reliance ADA Group Chairman Anil Ambani and DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal be arraigned as accused in the case.
Complainants Dharmender Pandey and Dr. M. Furquan were fined Rs.10,000 for wasting the court's time. Special Judge O.P. Saini noted: “The applications are not only devoid of any substance, but are also contrary to law and deserve to be dismissed with heavy cost as application after application of this nature are being filed by third parties resulting in loss of precious time of the court.”
However, Mr. Saini said he was taking “a little” lenient view as far as the cost was concerned. He asked the complainants to deposit Rs.10,000 each within three days, failing which warrants for attachment would be issued.
Mr. Pandey's counsel submitted that the cut-off date for applying for UAS licences was October 1, 2007, and that the Tata Teleservices applied on October 22, 2007, 21 days after the deadline and yet got 2G spectrum.
But CBI counsel A.K. Singh rebutted this argument, stating that the investigating agency had probed the matter and found that the cut-off date was relevant only for new licensees and that the Tata Teleservices was an existing licensee using the CDMA technology. The firm had applied for dual technology spectrum after the Department of Telecommunications accepted the TRAI's (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) recommendations on dual technology use on October 19, 2007, Mr. Singh said.
Mr. Saini said the complaints were not supported by any new material, and whatever documents submitted were “almost entirely on the court record from before.”
Noting that cognisance of two charge sheets were taken, the court said: “No further investigation can be ordered by the court at the instance of third parties, who are not even remotely connected with the issue. The police case cannot be altered beyond recognition at the instance of third parties, whose motives are unknown and are also not in possession of any new evidence.”
Nod for filing RTI plea
Meanwhile, Shahid Usman Balwa got permission from the court to file four applications under the Right to Information Act requesting the CBI to provide him with information relating to the 2G scam case, including the case diary and the Radia tapes featuring conversations between Ms. Radia and politicians, corporate heads and businessmen. Other information he has sought include statements of the accused and all “suspects” in the case, the final report and progress reports on the investigation submitted by the investigating officer, and all correspondences exchanged between the investigation team and the CBI's legal department.
The CBI did not oppose Mr. Balwa's plea.