CBI clean chit for Home Minister

Senior advocate K K Venug­opal had earlier questioned the apex court’s jurisdiction over any direction being given to the CBI to include Chidambaram in its probe in 2G case. Putting forth his arguments on Janta Party president Subramaniam Swamy’s application seeking direction to CBI to probe the role, if any played by Chida­mbaram in the scam, he submitted before a bench of justi­c­es G S Singhvi and A K Ga­nguly that the court should not reply upon a “note” addr­e­s­sed to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Chidambaram cannot be held responsible for the decisi­on not to auction the radio wa­ves as the Ministry of Finance was represented on the issue by the Finance Secretary during its meeting with the Minist­ry of Telecom then headed by A Raja.

While the meeting of the Telecom Commission was postponed from January 9 to January 15 in 2008, the DoT on January 10, 2008, issued 122 LoIs (Letter of Intents).

“DoT did not want the Commission to go into it. The base pr­­ice of 2001 (for the spectr­um) which was extended in 20­03 continued. DoT jumped the gun,” he said.

He said Chidambaram co­uld not have taken the decision himself on the spectrum issue without consulting his subordinate officials, including the then finance secretary V Subba Rao, now the Governor of Reserve Bank of India.

“The Finance Secretary would equally be culpable if you (petitioners) are saying about the culpability of the then Finance Minister. Any one person cannot be held responsible,” Venugopal said.

The counsel asked the Bench not to rely on the Ministry’s note of March 25 subm­itted by Swamy in the apex court on Wednesday.

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