2G scam: CBI files fresh report in SC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will consider allegations against former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in connection with the > Aircel-Maxis case only after perusing a status report filed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate in a sealed cover.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra took on record a fresh status report by the CBI on the 2G spectrum probe.

The CBI, in its charge sheet filed in August 2014, had said it would enquire into the circumstances under which the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance was allegedly approved in 2006 by Mr. Chidambaram, then Finance Minister, in the Aircel-Maxis deal in which former Telecom Minister > Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanidhi Maran have been chargesheeted.

Scheduling the case for hearing on September 23, the court said it would hear an application by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against Mr. Chidambaram’s alleged approval of the FIPB clearance to the Aircel-Maxis deal on March 7, 2006.

Dr. Swamy said it was an “admitted fact” that Maxis controlled 99.3 per cent of the equity of Aircel, showing that the FIPB given was “illegal and void.” The application alleged that Mr. Chidambaram had enabled pecuniary benefit to Maxis and thus prima facie committed a crime under Section 13(1) (d) the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Meanwhile, the court frowned upon the government's move to remove K. K. Venugopal as counsel for the CBI and the ED in the Supreme Court for the 2G Spectrum scam cases.

“We need you to assist us,” Chief Justice Dattu told Mr. Venugopal when the issue was raised during the hearing.

This reaction came from the court after Mr. Venugopal in a hearing on July 7 declared to the apex court that he would not appear in the future for the ED. Mr. Venugopal had then told the court that his decision followed a media report that on June 22 an Under-Secretary in the Revenue Department had written to the ED director for his immediate replacement as special counsel in the 2G case citing “conflict of interest”.

The controversy centred around a note from Mr. Venugopal to the court against the repatriation of Rajeshwar Singh, who was on the team probing money laundering offences related to the >2G scam, to his parent cadre.

The June 22 communication had said Mr. Venugopal's action in the Supreme Court was “without any instruction from either the ED or the Department of Revenue” and it was “against the decision taken by the government.”

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 12:47:57 PM |

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