2G: Set up SIT and monitor CBI probe, says Bhushan

Arun S New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Advocate Mr Prashant Bhushan on Wednesday sought the Supreme Court’s directions to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to monitor the CBI probe into the 2G spectrum case as has been done in the black money case.

Mr Bhushan – representing the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (an NGO and petitioner in the 2G case) -- termed the CBI probe into the 2G case as “less than honest”.

He asked the apex court to appoint 2-3 retired senior officials of impeccable integrity, possibly a retired Supreme Court judge and a retired senior police officer, to supervise the CBI probe and assist the court in monitoring the investigation.

Referring to the new documents submitted by the Janata Party President Dr Subramanian Swamy as 'proof' of the Home Minister Mr P Chidambaram's alleged role in the 2G case, Mr Bhushan said the Finance Ministry note (suggesting Mr Chidambaram's alleged complicity in the 2G spectrum scam) makes Mr Chidambaram's role in the 2G scam very clear.

Mr Chidambaram was the Finance Minister in 2008 when the 2G spectrum was allocated during Mr A Raja's tenure as Telecom Minister.

"The CBI should have at least questioned Mr Chidambaram," Mr Bhushan said. Pointing out that most of the top CBI officials are from the Indian Police Service cadre, Mr Bhushan said the reluctance of the CBI to investigate Mr Chidambaram's role in the 2G case is not surprising as the Home Ministry has control over the promotions of the IPS officers.

However, the court pointed out that the CBI counsel had asserted on Tuesday that the agency is an autonomous body and that the Centre cannot instruct it on what should be done.

Mr Bhushan also said the CBI has also not investigated the assets of the public servants accused in the 2G case when there is a suspicion that their assets include pay-offs from the 2G scam.

Given such a situation, the CBI cannot say that its probe in the case is over and therefore, it is imperative that the apex court continue to monitor the CBI probe in the case, he said.

The Centre had earlier told the apex court that its jurisdiction to monitor the CBI probe came to an end on the day (April 2) the agency filed the chargesheet in the 2G case before the Special Court.

However, Mr Bhushan said that even after the chargesheet is filed, if the Supreme Court comes to the conclusion that the investigation is not done properly due to reasons including powerful persons involved as potential accused, it should continue to monitor the probe.

Mr Bhushan also said the CBI had failed to probe companies such as Datacom set up by the Dhoot brothers of Videocon and the Tatas as well as the Attorney General Mr G E Vahanvati and industrialist Mr Anil Ambani in the case.

He said if the apex court does not continue to monitor the probe or not set up an SIT to monitor it, the case might suffer the same fate as that of other court-monitored investigations like the hawala case where all the accused were acquitted due to slipshod investigations and weak charge-sheets by the CBI, or the recent cash-for-votes scandal where the real beneficiaries so far appear to have got away.

The hearing in the matter will resume on Thursday.

Published on September 28, 2011

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