Economy

Chidambaram, Sibal should resign on moral grounds, says Swamy

Arun S. New Delhi | Updated on February 02, 2012

The Janata Dal President, Dr Subramanian Swamy. (file photo)

The Janata Party President, Dr Subramanian Swamy, who was a petitioner in the 2G case before the Supreme Court, on Thursday heightened his pitch for the resignation of the Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, and the Telecom Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal.

He termed the 2G scam a “collective failure” of the UPA Government including the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and said Mr Sibal and Mr Chidambaram should step down on ‘moral grounds’.

Dr Swamy’s statement followed the apex court order cancelling 122 2G licences issued in 2008 during the then Telecom Minister, Mr A. Raja, and asking the Special Court to decide on a probe into the alleged role of Mr Chidambaram.

‘Historic judgment’

Meanwhile, advocate Mr Prashant Bhushan, who represented another petitioner (the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation) described the judgment as “historic”.

“It will send a strong signal to the entire country and in particular the corporate world that this country is no longer willing to allow these corrupt corporates and the corrupt public officials to retain the benefits of illegal and corrupt acts,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Swamy said the Government did not pay heed to the warnings given by the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Central Vigilance Commission in the matter.

‘No impact on FDI’

He said the ruling will not have any impact on the foreign investment inflow into India as the verdict pertained only to those who obtained the 2G licence and spectrum “illegally and through corrupt means”.

“In this case, there were instances of some foreign companies taking the black market route to get into the telecom sector. Now no company will be able to illegally get any national resource at a cheap price and then sell it for a huge profit,” he said, adding that “the case has proved that India welcomes only those foreign investors who want to do business here in an honest manner and make profits legally.”

“The message here is ‘be honest’, ‘do not steal’, ‘stay away from brokers who are thieves’, ‘if you commit fraud, the law will catch up with you’,” he said.

Dr Swamy said the apex court judgment should lead to a permanent policy that all scarce national resources, like the 2G spectrum, should be given away only at a market determined price.

He then said, unlike the 2G licence, there was no illegality in 3G licences as they were granted following an auction.

No clean chit for Chidambaram

Regarding the prosecution of Mr Chidambaram, Dr Swamy said he was happy that the apex court directed the Special Court to decide the matter and at the same time “did not give a clean chit” to the Home Minister.

The Special Court will now decide whether Mr Chidambaram should be made a co-accused in the 2G case and if the CBI should initiate an investigation into his role, Dr Swamy said.

“It is the best possible judgment. The country can be justifiably proud of Supreme Court,” he said.

Mr Bhushan said the verdict could help change the way corruption is dealt with in the country.

He claimed that the telecom companies will need to “refund the benefits” they made by obtaining the licences “illegally’’.

Dr Swamy, on the other hand, said the Government’s finances will improve when 2G spectrum and licences are given after a fresh auction.

Published on February 02, 2012

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