CBI contradicts govt on 2G probe

CBI contradicts govt on 2G probe

The contradictory positions taken by the probe agency and the government came in the open following the submission of  an office memorandum and a note given by the Finance Ministry to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in March. The letter had stated that the spectrum scam could have been averted had  P Chidambaram insisted on the auction route.

Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy had on September 21 submitted before the court the note prepared by Finance Ministry’s Deputy Director P G S Rao and sent to  PMO  in March this year purportedly showing that Chidambaram was not in favour of changing the 2001 entry fee for the allocation of spectrum in 2008.

Senior advocate P P Rao, appearing for the government, told a bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly that new documents filed for the first time before this court will naturally be studied and considered by the CBI as usual and may be covered in the next status report.

Senior counsel K K Venugopal, who appeared for the CBI objected to the views of Rao by saying that the probe agency was an independent organisation and should not be told by anyone as to how to go ahead with the investigation.

“No one can put words in our mouth on what we are going to do. The CBI is autonomous and an independent body,” Venugopal said.

During the hearing, Rao, however, told the court that there was no need to pass any order on the application filed by Swamy seeking direction to CBI to include Chidambaram in the ongoing 2G probe.

“There is no reason to believe that CBI will not discharge its duty…but the matter should be left to the trial court as it has the power to issue summons to anyone (if anything comes against that person). The appellate court cannot exercise the jurisdiction exercised by the trial court,” Rao added.

Rao said the court that he was not appearing for any individual but for Union of India which was a party in the matter.

Arguing his own case, Swamy submitted that the CBI had arrested Raja, but did not take any action against Chidambaram despite the fact that both of them had four meetings prior to the crucial decision on spectrum allocation.

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