The Law Ministry has acknowledged receipt of Shiv Sena deputy floor leader in the Lok Sabha Chandrakant Khaires letter demanding an inquiry on how an unofficial version of the February 2 Supreme Court (SC) judgment on the 2-G spectrum allocation case was available with the media even before it was uploaded on the official website of the court.
Khaire had on February 8 written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stating that the operating portion of the unofficial version was substantially different from the official version. While the unofficial version states a two-month time frame within which TRAI is required to make fresh recommendations (for auction of 2G spectrum),the official version does not state any time frame at all, the letter pointed out. He sent a copy of the letter to the home and law ministers and the Chief Justice of India.
Sources in the Prime Ministers Office said the law ministry would deal with the issues raised by Khaire,a member of the standing committee on finance. When contacted,Khaire told The Indian Express: The law ministers office has acknowledged receipt of the letter. In his letter,he wrote,The matter pertains to the integrity of the highest court of the country and its functioning. He also demanded that the role of the petitioners counsel Prashant Bhushan be seriously investigated and clarified in the whole episode.
Incidentally,Videocon Industries MD Rajkumar Dhoot,now Assocham president,is also a Rajya Sabha member from Shiv Sena. Videocon is one of the telecom companies affected by the SC order cancelling 122 licences. It had bagged 21 licences in 2008.
The Indian Express had received an 85-page document by email from the office of Prashant Bhushan,counsel for the Centre for Public Interest Litigation that filed the petition for the cancellation of the licences,on the day the SC read its order. The SC judgement posted on the official website is identical to the 85-page document except for seven new paras.
The newspaper reported about the confusion in its edition dated February 5. Bhushan could not be contacted. He did not respond to text messages.
The Shiv Sena leader,who represents Aurangabad in the Lower House,said: It is further very disturbing that the judgment pronounced at 10.30 am has been changed subsequently before the same is uploaded on the official website of the Honble Supreme Court. This may be required to be referred to the Honble Chief Justice of India for his knowledge and appropriate action if he deems fit. Khaire further told The Indian Express: I will wait for now after the Budget Session of Parliament gets underway. Besides him,a couple of more members of Parliament too are learnt to have raised this issue with the Prime Minister,sources said.
Khaire wrote: I was shocked to read in The Indian Express on February 5 that a copy of the judgment was available with the media even before it was formally released by the SC. It is also shocking to read that that such copy of the judgment was circulated by the petitioners counsel Prashant Bhushan prior to the official copy of the judgment being made available by the Honble Supreme Court.