2G scam: SC pulls up CBI for tardy probe
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Last Updated: Friday, October 29, 2010, 22:00
  
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the CBI for its tardy progress in the investigations in the 2G spectrum allocation scam in which the alleged role of Telecom Minister A Raja has come under the scanner.

"You (CBI) have not done anything. Is that the way Government functions? Do you follow the same standards in other cases? One year has (already) gone by," a bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said.

The remarks of the bench came as soon as Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval began responding to the submissions made by counsel for an NGO which has brought the issue before the apex court.

When the ASG was explaining the enormity, complexity and volume of the documents involved in the issue required some more time to complete the investigation, the bench interrupted and said, "Let us cut short (submissions)."

"You are dragging your feet," it said.

However, Raval said the complex nature of the issue was the reason that the investigations into the scam has taken some time.

He said to maintain continuity, the investigation is being carried out in the right earnest and senior officials of competence are conducting investigations into all aspects of the matter.

At this point, the bench quipped, "Will it take another 10 years?"

The ASG replied that the investigation will be completed within six months.

The court adjourned the matter to November 15 as Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium was not present due to ill health.

The bench said it will hold a thorough hearing when Subramanium appears before the court on the next date and it would like to have answers to some of the questions.

During the last date of hearing on October 21, the draft reports of the CAG, which pointed out that the scam on 2G spectrum allocation caused a loss of Rs 1.4 lakh crore to the exchequer, was placed before the Supreme Court.

The two draft reports were placed by the NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, which had alleged irregularities in allocation of spectrum.

The apex court had earlier asked the Department of Telecom to respond to the CAG report pointing out largescale irregularities and favouritism allegedly by telecom minister Raja.

The Apex Court had asked government to go through the draft report alleging that the Ministry of Telecom ignored the advice of the Law Ministry and the Prime Minister and allotted the license by favouring "ineligible" companies at lower rate by arbitrarily deciding the cut-off date.

Raja reacted cautiously to the Supreme Court's strong observations.

"I have been told by the Department of Telecom that the hearing has been postponed for another date so I would not like to make any comment," Raja said over phone from Chennai.

PTI


First Published: Friday, October 29, 2010, 22:00


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