2G scam: AG Vahanvati to represent PM in Supreme Courthttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/2g-scam-ag-vahanvati-to-represent-pm-in-supreme-court/

2G scam: AG Vahanvati to represent PM in Supreme Court

A flustered govt has fielded its top law officer to represent Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Under fire from the Supreme Court Bench hearing the PIL in the 2G spectrum allocation scam,the government on Thursday decided to field its top law officer — Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati — in the next hearing.

Vahanvati will represent the government,including the Prime Minister’s Office,while Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium,who has been appearing for the Union of India,will represent the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Another law officer will represent the CBI.

Sources said that Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily passed orders in this regard after his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,where he is said to have informed the PM about the developments in the court.

It is learnt that on the next date of hearing of the PIL filed by Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy seeking sanction to prosecute former Union telecom minister A Raja in the 2G spectrum allocation scam,an affidavit would be filed on behalf of a senior officer in the PMO,detailing the steps taken by the PMO after receiving the first letter by Swamy dated November 29,2008.

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It is learnt that the affidavit could state that the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had on March 19 this year informed the petitioner that his request for prosecution sanction was not being decided at a stage when the CBI was yet to complete probe in the matter.

In an official communication to Swamy,Shantung Consul,the then Secretary,Ministry of Personnel,had said that the “issue of grant of sanction for prosecution would arise only after the perusal of the evidence collected by the investigating agency and the other material provided to the competent authority”.

According to the information,the Law Ministry,whose advice was sought by the PMO,on January 26 this year advised the PMO that any decision to accord sanction for prosecution could be determined only after perusal of evidence collected by the CBI.

The affidavit by the PMO could also inform the court that on March 17 this year,the PMO asked DoT to send communications received by it from the Central Vigilance Commission as well as the CBI.

Sources said that the government is of the view that since the SC observations about the “inaction and silence” by the PMO on Swamy’s 16-month-old complaint were oral and weren’t part of any written order,they didn’t translate into strictures against the PM or his office.

Moreover,the Law Ministry is of the opinion that since Raja is no longer a minister,Swamy was free to file his complaint with the proper court.