Slamming the “delay” in probe in the 2G case, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to complete the investigations in six months. “We will haul up every officer if the probe is not over (in six months). This cannot be kept pending for long,” a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha said.
The court said, “This case has significance for the people as the 2G scam has attracted the attention of this court and citizenry since long. It is unfortunate…that so far an investigation in all 2G and other allied cases has not been completed…We direct all the concerned agencies, CBI, ED etc. in the circumstances, as assured by K K Venugopal, AC (Amicus Curiae) and Attorney General for India, that investigations shall be completed within six months in all the cases…”
The court was hearing a petition filed by the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigations. The bench pointed out the plea was filed in 2010. “Various orders had been passed by this court number of times. Thereafter, for the last several years, we find that nothing substantial happened in the matter”, the bench noted.
The bench said the AG had referred to some resistances in the process and ordered, “Let those difficulties be placed on record and status report of the various cases be also placed on record in a sealed cover, within a period of two weeks”. The remarks came after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy brought to the notice of the court that his plea for probe in the matter was pending for a long time and claimed the CBI had recently recovered a status report during some raids.
Venuopal said the special court had acquitted all the accused in the main 2G spectrum case involving the former Telecom minister. In related cases, the accused were either acquitted or discharged, he said.
The AG added that “investigation is still pending only in one case and this case relates to Aircel-Maxis case” a Malaysian business tycoon against whom letter rogatory had been issued. However, he being an influential person in that country, Indian agencies have not been able to bring him here so far to face trial, he added.
The bench said it was not concerned about the individuals or personalities involved in the case and the Centre should file a status report in two weeks with regard to investigation done so far.
The bench also dismissed a contempt petition filed against the government for appointing Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta as Special Prosecutor for 2G cases saying it was open for the government to do so. It allowed senior advocate Anand Grover to relinquish charge as special public prosecutor in the 2G case, saying that his appointment was only for the trial court where the case was already over.