CBI will study Swamy's documents on Chidambaram, court told

CBI will study Swamy's documents on Chidambaram, court told

The government told the apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly: "The new documents filed for the first time before this court will naturally be studied and considered by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) as usual and may be covered in the next status report."

Swamy Wednesday submitted to the court documents demonstrating what he alleged was Chidambaram's the involvement in deciding the 2G spectrum pricing when he was the finance minister.

Appearing for the government, senior counsel P.P. Rao in a written note submitted to the court said: "After the filing of the initial investigation report, if the investigating officer obtains or receives further evidence, he is under a duty to forward further report or reports to the court as the case may be.”

Rao said that having regard to the investigation done so far to the satisfaction of the apex court, “there is no reason to think that the CBI will not now discharge its duties unless a direction is given by the highest court”.

Seeking rejection of the plea for a probe against Chidambaram, Rao said that Swamy had already moved the trial court of Special CBI Judge O.P. Saini hearing the 2G case for initiation of proceedings against the minister.

“The (trial) court not only has the power to summon witnesses and examine the complainant and the powers to issue summons for the production of relevant documents from any person, but also the power to proceed against any person not named as an accused in the charge sheet,” Rao said.

He said there was no need to pass any order on Swamy's application. Rao said that the court's monitoring of the CBI investigation in 2G scam came to an end after the investigating agency filed the charge sheet in the trial court.

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, sought to erase the impression that the then finance minister Chidambaram could have thwarted the issuance of 2G licences, had he so desired, following differences on the pricing issue.

He said the finance ministry had no powers to cancel the 2G licences. Venugopal told the court that the meeting of the telecom commission, which was scheduled to take place Jan 9, 2008, and wherein spectrum pricing was one of the agenda item was suddenly adjourned to Jan 15, 2008.

Thereafter, the department of telecommunications under the then communications minister A. Raja jumped the gun and issued licences to 122 applicants Jan 10, 2008, thereby rendering the question of 2G spectrum pricing infructuous.

“The entire situation was changed and the option of the auction of the spectrum was no more a possibility" after the issuance of licences, Venugopal told the court.
Referring to the Jan 30, 2008, communication of the then finance secretary D. Subbarao and other interactions, Venugopal said that “the present RBI (Reserve Bank of India) governor was the then finance secretary who was interacting with the (then) finance minister on policy decision and what is (now) being alleged is a criminality.”

He said that no criminality could be read in a policy decision.

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