2G scam: CBI and Centre differ on SC's monitoring of case
"The conventional method has weakened. The concept was to be re-fashioned because of change of situation," a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said.
The remarks were made by the bench after senior advocate P P Rao, appearing for the Centre, took a divergent stand from the CBI, which said the apex-court could continue with monitoring of the probe into the alleged role of former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran and corporates involving Essar Group and Loop Telecom in the 2G scam.
"I am surprised by the stand of the CBI," Rao had responded to the bench's question to him that CBI's counsel and senior advocate K K Venugopal was not totally against the monitoring of the case to the extent of the alleged involvement of Maran and the corporate house.
He said that that any new documets filed in the case will be studied and considered by the CBI which can look into the issue and may be covered in the next status report which would be filed in the apex court.
The Centre said with the filing of the two charge sheets in the competent court there was no question of any further monitoring of the case by the apex court.
However, the bench reminded Rao as to how the concept of monitoring the probe evolved after the apex court judgement in the Vineet Narain case in 1996.
"Why the monitoring of the case became necessary," the bench asked Rao, who said it was for providing fair investigation.
Further, the senior advocate said law evolves according to certain requirements and because in some cases investigating agencies work was not "creditable", the court started monitoring the probe.
While, he was making submission on the issue, the bench said the need for court-monitored probe evolved as "there have been enough scenario of corruption in high office".
"The acceptance of the position of court monitoring investigation evolved because of widespread malice," it said and asked Rao "is it not so recorded in the Vineet Narain case".
The bench said court monitoring the probe of the case was not in the past.
The bench also questioned the Centre for opposing the monitoring of the 2G case by the apex court saying that consent in this regard was given by the Solicitor General.
It asked Rao whether on behalf of the Centre, he wants to withdraw the statement given by the Solicitor General.
"If you will withdraw the Solicitor General's statement, then we will examine the jurisdiction of the court on the issue of withdrawal of the statement," the bench said.
Rao said the position has to be analysed in accordance with law and reiterated that monitoring of the investigation comes to an end with the filing of charge sheet and the trial court taking cognizace of the case.
The bench clarified to him that the 2G case reached to the courts, i.e the Delhi High Court and the apex court only after the CBI had registered the FIR and at no point there was a judicial direction for investigating the scam.
"It was when the Centre and the CBI after intitial reluctance gave consent that we passed an order for monitoring the investigation," the bench said.