New Delhi, Sep 14 (Calcutta Tube) The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to Communication and Information Technology Minister A. Raja on a petition seeking court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences after allegations of huge corruption.
A bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly issued the notice, returnable within ten days, on a petition contending that ‘a sitting union cabinet minister Mr. A. Raja was directly implicated’ in the Rs.70,000 crore scam as well as senior officials of the department of telecommunication (DoT), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), corporate entities and the middlemen.
The petition, jointly filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, Telecom Watchdog and Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, has challenged the Delhi High Court’s order dismissing a petition for similar relief.
Besides Raja, notices have also been issued to the central government, the CBI, directorate of enforcement, and the income tax directorate.
The petition said that there were tapes of Raja talking to corporate middlemen.
The DoT followed the policy of first come first serve in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences and the cut off date was arbitrarily changed and the licences were awarded to just 120 of the 575 applicants.
The successful companies were allowed to subsequently sell equity and conduct private auctions to ‘garner large sums’.
Seeking the investigation by an independent Special Investigating Team, the petitioners told the court that investigation carried out by the CBI were being scuttled to protect the political and corporate interests.
The petition said that the CBI, which was investigating the case, was more or less a department of the central government and had a ‘very bad record in (investigating) politically sensitive cases….’
The court was also told that investigation into 2G spectrum scam was ‘extremely politically sensitive’ as it had already caused ‘huge embarrassment to the central government’.
The entire case, the petition said, involves a ‘sitting cabinet minister who belongs to a political party which is supporting the government and without which the government cannot survive’.
The role played by the DoT under Raja has been indicted by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the CBI, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Directorate General of Income Tax, the petition said.