Sahara CEO questions contempt notice

Sahara group chairman Subrata Roy on Tuesday questioned before the Supreme Court maintainability of the contempt notice issued against him and two others for allegedly threatening an Enforcement Directorate (ED) official investigating into the 2G scam.

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Roy, raised objection over the proceedings. He said it was neither in conformity with the Supreme Court rules nor mandatorily vetted by the attorney general.

In his submission before a bench of justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan, the counsel said he would like to cross-examine complainant Rajeshwar Singh for filing a “wishy-washy” affidavit in the apex court.

The apex court on May 6, 2011, issued contempt notices to Roy and two journalists, Upendra Rai, editor and news director, Sahara India Media and Subodh Jain, erstwhile reporter with Sahara Samay.

It was alleged that Jain had approached Singh with a set of questions, claiming that he had got certain details relating to corruption against the ED official, to scuttle investigations into the 2G case. During the hearing, senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for Rai, submitted that the status of the ED in the case was no higher than a litigant. The court could not exercise its suo motu power in this manner and it was impermissible as a matter of due process, he contended.

Representing the ED official, senior advocate K K Venugopal submitted that since Sahara had invested in M/s S-Tel Ltd, which got licences in five circles, Singh, who was investigating the FEMA case, was approached by Jain at the instance of top executives.

Meanwhile, the apex court trashed an application filed by a private TV channel seeking a probe into contents of a CD.

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