M A I N   N E W S

2G Spectrum Scam
CBI opposes probe against Chidambaram
Says investigations in case over
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 20
Strongly opposing a plea for probing Home Minister P Chidambaram’s alleged role in the 2G scam, the CBI today contended in the Supreme Court that its investigations in the case were over and any further investigation could be ordered only by the trial court and not by the SC.

Arguing for the CBI before a Bench comprising Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly, senior counsel KK Venugopal said the role of the apex court, which monitored the investigations in the 2G case, had come to an end following the filing of the chargesheets.

The 2G case had now progressed further and arguments on framing of charges were on. Since the trial had begun in the case only the trial court had the power under Section 173(8) CrPC to order further investigation if it felt there was some deficiency in the probe, Venugopal contended.

However, the Bench was not convinced. Trial would commence only after framing of charges against the main accused, former Telecom Minister A Raja, and others by the trial court, the apex court pointed out.

The Bench was hearing arguments on Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy’s plea for bringing Chidambaram under the ambit of CBI investigations in the 2G case for his alleged conspiracy in the scam, involving an estimated loss ranging from Rs 35,000 crore to Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government exchequer.

According to Swamy, Chidambaram had endorsed Raja’s move to allot Spectrum to telecom companies in 2008 at 2001 prices on first-come, first-served basis, rather than through auction. This was despite the fact that both the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Law Ministry were opposed to hasty allocation of Spectrum. Chidambaram had given his nod when he was Finance Minister.

Venugopal said the CBI was still investigating a complaint against former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran for allegedly forcing former Aircel chief C Sivasankaran to sell his company to a business associate of Maran’s brother, Kalanidhi, at a below market price. But this case was not covered under the 2G scam, he clarified.
The arguments will continue tomorrow.





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