Khurshid accused of contempt of court in 2G case

NGO says law ministers actions amount to interference in administration of justice

Telecom Watchdog, an NGO which is one of the petitioners in the 2G case, told the Supreme Court on Monday that Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid had committed contempt of court by allegedly giving a clean chit to the Essar Group in the “cross-holding” of Loop Telecom already chargesheeted by the CBI.

“Interference in the investigation by Khurshid is apparent. Khurshid has publicly given a clean chit to Essar/Loop,” the NGO contended. It also claimed that Khurshid even disregarded the opinion given by the Attorney-General (AG), the Reserve Bank of India and the Enforcement Directorate.

“The AG had listed as many as 22 solid facts/instances as unearthed in the CBI investigation that made a clear cut case of cheating. Despite this the Law Ministry under instructions from Khurshid, at the instance of the accused company, gave an opinion that no case is made out.” The government had earlier termed the allegations leveled by the NGO “political” and even described another petitioner Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) as “Centre for Political Interest Litigation.”

It further alleged that the investigation officers had found allegedly involvement of the DoT officers and officers in the Corporate Affairs Ministry in the matter, but the senior CBI officials did not charge the top brass of Essar under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

“The CBI bailed out high profile Essar/Loop by not framing charges against them under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Apparently this was done because of the opinion given by CBI’s Director of Prosecution and CBI Director.

“It is pertinent to mention that according to reports the son of Director of Prosecution is an employee with Essar-Loop,” it alleged.

The rejoinder further contended that Khurshid had earlier given a clean chit to Swan Telecom as well when he was the corporate affairs minister.

Giving out details of the apex court’s order asking the CBI to ensure that “the investigation is not hampered in manner whatsoever,” the NGO claimed Khurshid’s actions constituted “interference in the administration of justice” that amounted to criminal contempt.

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