Indians will continue to be proud of the judiciary. All patriotic Indians expect that justice will be done and the cases will be decided before Justice A.K. Ganguly retires on Feb. 2, 2012.
If guilty feel nervous, so be it. Rule of law does NOT discriminate among citizens however mighty the offices of profit some may hold. Such holders of offices of profit are mere functionaries at the service of the people and the nation.
The very foundations of our democratic governance rest on the rule of law. In Indian tradition, dharma is inviolate. Those who have indulged in adharma should get their due desserts in Tihar and other jails. Such exemplary punishment will be a lesson in dharma for everyone to learn, to remember and cherish in a nation which owes its very existence to the ancestors who enunciated the inviolate global, universal ethic called dharma.
- SUNDAY, 22 JANUARY 2012 00:52
- SANA SHAKIL/J GOPIKRISHNAN | NEW DELHI
In next two weeks, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram’s fate will be decided in the 2G spectrum scam. Special CBI Judge OP Saini on Saturday reserved the judgement for February 4 on the demand of Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy to summon him for his alleged “collusion and conspiracy” with former Telecom Minister A Raja in the Rs 1.76-lakh-crore scam.
For its part, the Supreme Court too is likely to deliver its judgement on Swamy’s demand for a CBI probe into Chidambaram’s role in the scam, anytime before February 2. In all, four crucial judgements are expected from the apex court before the date, which are sure to create ripples in the telecom sector and political arena. For, one of the judges on the bench Justice AK Ganguly (the other being Justice GS Singhvi) is set to retire on February 2. The bench has to deliver the judgements before Ganguly retires.
Substantiating his allegations with arguments and documents in the Special Court, Swamy argued, “The documents that I have submitted to the court prove that a prima facie case is clearly made against Chidambaram. Chidambaram as then Finance Minister had committed the offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the same offence for which Raja stands as an accused in the case. Raja and Chidambaram had committed the offence together. Prima facie Chidambaram had conspired and colluded with Raja to commit offence of criminal misconduct.”
Referring to the court’s October 22 order on framing of charges in the case, Swamy said that offloading of shares by Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless to foreign-based Etisalat and Telenor respectively was only a ‘trick’.
“I can lean on the pillars that the court has provided by its order on framing of charges. The share dilution was only a trick because it permitted licences to be transferred,” Swamy maintained.
Stating that spectrum licence price was a willing meeting of minds and a joint decision of Raja and Chidambaram, Swamy submitted that the controversial March 25, 2011 Office Memo of the Finance Ministry to PMO, approved by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, confirms this.
He also contended that being the then Finance Minister, Chidambaram, along with Raja, was empowered by the October 2003 Cabinet decision to discuss and finalise spectrum prices. “Chidambaram had colluded, conspired and consented with Raja, he did not call for a Cabinet meeting although the officers had kept him apprised of the whole thing. He could have called for a cabinet meeting like he did in the Unique Identification matter but here he did not,” Swamy argued.
Swamy added that their collusion is corroborated by the three meetings that took between Chidambaram and Raja before issuance of licenses. Swamy said that Raja along with Chidambaram met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 4, 2008 to inform him of their joint decision on this matter.
Swamy pressed that Raja did not act alone in deciding and permitting share dilution of more than 60 per cent of the paid up capital of Swan Telecom Private Limited and Unitech Private Limited even before their roll out of services.
Swamy alleged that Chidambaram committed breach of trust and dereliction of duty by not informing Raja or the PM at any that the Home Ministry itself had found Etisalat and Telenor as not desirable companies from the national security angle. Citing an Intelligence Bureau report, he alleged that one of the key accused Shahid Balwa had close association with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and knowing this as a Home Minister Chidambaram “hushed up the matter.”
Speaking to journalists after the proceedings, Swamy said, “I am sure that the nation will hear good news on February 4. I am sure that Chidambaram will be summoned as an accused in the case as the evidence produced by me before the court clearly establish a prima facie case against him.”
Meanwhile, on Friday, the Supreme Court bench declined to hear any new petitions stating the pending matters had to be settled before Justice Ganguly retires. The bench had already reserved judgments in January, last year on prescribing guidelines for sanction for prosecution filed by Swamy against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for not giving sanction against Raja.
Swamy and other crusader in 2G cases Prashant Bhusan had petitioned for cancellation of the entire 122 telecom licenses, found illegal by CAG and demanded for court-monitored auction to recover the losses from the 2G scam. This judgment is pending from March, last year.
Swamy’s petition for probing Chidambaram’s role in the scam by CBI was reserved for judgment in October, last year. The fourth case filed by Bhushan for creation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to assist the Supreme Court in monitoring the CBI probe was also reserved for judgement in October last.
By Vishwas Kumar
22 Jan 2012 12:45:00 AM IST
CBI worried as 2G case judge set to retire
NEW DELHI: The CBI along with the Government are watching carefully as Supreme Court judge, Justice A K Ganguly, whose bench is monitoring the 2G probe cases, is expected to pass verdicts on three crucial matters before he retires on February 2 this year.
The verdicts will decide the fate of Home Minister P Chidambaram; whether 122 licences given out by former telecom minister A Raja could be cancelled; and whether a Special Investigation Team (SIT) should be set up to day-to-day monitor the 2G cases.
The SC bench comprising Justice Ganguly and Justice G S Singhvi had heard these matters and reserved the verdict. A judge is expected to deliver his ‘reserved’ verdict before retirement. However, in case the verdict is not passed, the matter has to be heard again by a new judge.
Among the three cases, the CBI is concerned most about the outcome of cases pertaining to Chidambaram and formation of SIT. In both, petitioners have cast aspersions on the fairness of CBI’s investigation carried out in the 2G case.
On October 10, 2011, the bench of Justice Singhvi and Ganguly had reserved verdict on plea filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy seeking a CBI probe into the role of Chidambaram in deciding the 2G spectrum price along with Raja.
The bench had also reserved verdict on Centre of Public Interest Litigation’s plea to supervise the CBI’s probe into 2G scam by SIT on a day-to-day basis. Earlier on March 18 last year, it had reserved the verdict on a petition for cancellation of 122 2G licences illegally granted in 2008.
The double bench has been hearing the 2G cases since the apex court admitted PIL in 2010, demanding court-monitored probe into the matter. After lengthy court battle, the bench delivered the landmark judgement directing the CBI, ED and Income Tax department to start probe under their supervision. It also provided for setting up a special court and special public prosecutor to hear the case on day-to-day basis.