Criticising the Uttar Pradesh government, the bench said allegations against the officer are being made to “prevent him from conducting the probe in the scam fearlessly”.
Taking a serious view of the alleged interference in the functioning of the Deputy Director of the Enforcement Directorate conducting the 2G probe, the Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed all further proceedings in a writ petition pending in the Allahabad High Court.
A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and K.S. Radhakrishnan also stayed the proceedings initiated by the Uttar Pradesh government on a complaint from an advocate against ED officer Rajeswar Singh.
The Bench passed this order on a petition filed by Mr. Singh alleging that these proceedings were initiated allegedly at the instance of Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy.
Seeking the intervention of the Supreme Court, senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the CBI and the ED, told the Bench that Mr. Singh had already filed a contempt petition last year and contempt notice had been issued against Mr. Roy for allegedly interfering with the probe in the 2G case.
In an apparent reference to Mr. Roy, counsel said that at his instance the U.P. government had initiated a probe against Mr. Singh. He said: “Through certain agents and political allies, they [Mr. Roy and others] have initiated a series of complaints consisting of outright falsehoods against Mr. Singh and also initiated a Public Interest Litigation.”
Mr. Venugopal, along with senior counsel Harish Salve, said the very same allegations had been investigated and found to be baseless and void by the CBI, the ED and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). He said frivolous allegations of accumulating property and wealth had been levelled against Mr. Singh.
Mr. Venugopal said there was every reason to believe that the probe was only with the oblique purpose of harassing the petitioner and creating doubts about his credentials in the Ministry of Finance. The ordering of enquiry by the U.P. Home Secretary by directly entertaining a complaint containing allegations was also intended to harass him, he added.
Justice Singhvi said: “The allegations against him are being made to prevent him from conducting the 2G. He must be protected. He is acting as an officer of the court and we are monitoring the case. They are flouting our order by taking action against him. Hope that good sense prevails upon them.
“It shows that it was done on the instruction of someone at the top in the hierarchy. We won’t be surprised if that happens to anyone of us also. Prima facie it indicates that the administrative apparatus of the state is being used to influence the investigating officer.”
In a brief order, the Bench issued notice and stayed the proceedings in the PIL petition before the Allahabad High Court. It said: “We also direct the State government and all its officers not to proceed with any inquiry on the complaint dated September 15, 2012 or any similar complaint by any other person.”
The Bench directed the matter to be listed for further hearing on November 29.