Underlining that it would not tinker with an investigating agency’s prerogative, the Supreme Court on Thursday declined former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran’s plea for restraining the Central Bureau of Investigation from filing a chargesheet in the Aircel-Maxis deal case, allegedly naming him as an accused.
A bench led by Justice HL Dattu termed Maran’s plea as “premature” and said that an investigating agency cannot be stopped from filing a chargesheet if it considered that its probe was over and that the charges would stand in a court of law.
“Do we say it at this stage that we restrain CBI from filing the chargesheet? You (Maran) are asking for a negative order against an investigating agency? It will be too premature to ask them not to file a chargesheet. They may say that the investigation is complete according to their wisdom,” observed the bench.
Maran’s prime contention related to CBI’s alleged haste in filing the chargesheet although the agency was still to gather materials from Malaysian authorities, who were refusing to co-operate. The bench, however, said no opinion could be formed at this stage over insufficiency of CBI’s probe and that granting an injunction against filing chargesheet was not permissible under the law.
Maran’s counsel CA Sundaram sought to convince the court that he was not seeking to stop CBI but wanted direction to the agency that the chargesheet should be filed only after investigation was complete in all aspects.
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Sundaram also contended that the Aircel-Maxis case was not related to the 2G spectrum scam and hence the first question that would arise after the filing of the chargesheet would be whether this case should be heard by the designated 2G court or some other court.
The bench said that it was keeping all his contentions open and he was at liberty to approach the SC and demonstrate as to how his case was different from other 2G cases.
On the point of filing of chargesheet, the bench told Sundaram that if CBI files a defective chargesheet, he could challenge it to have it quashed, and that the court would “come to his rescue” if he succeeds in establishing the legal lacuna. At this, Sundaram withdrew the petition, while agreeing to file an appropriate petition at an appropriate stage.