2G scam: 63 persons under scanner, CBI tells SC

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 23:43

New Delhi: Sixty-three persons, including
promoters and CEOs of 10 telecom firms have come under its
scanner in the 2G spectrum case, the CBI on Tuesday told the
Supreme Court which expressed satisfaction over the ongoing
probe.

The central government, which is also party to the
case, informed a bench of justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly
that it is in favour of setting up a special court to try the
accused in the 2G case and the law minister has written a
letter to the Delhi High Court chief justice asking him to
constitute a court and identify a judge for this purpose.

"The matter is under consideration", Additional
Solicitor General Indira Jaisingh told the bench, which wanted
to know about the progress of investigation into the case.

Senior advocate KK Venugopal, representing the CBI,
apprised the bench about the progress by the CBI and placed
the probe status report in a sealed cover.

"63 persons including promoters and CEOs of 10
companies have come under the scanner of the CBI in its probe
into the 2G Spectrum scam", Venugopal said.

The bench asked the CBI and the Enforcement
Directorate to place before it their reports about the
investigation by March 10 and posted the matter for further
hearing on March 15.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Tata group
of companies, meanwhile, pleaded for in-camera
proceedings.

Earlier on February 10th, while hearing a plea by Centre
for Public Interest Litigation for probe into the 2G case, the
Supreme Court had asked the CBI to widen its probe ambit and
include into it high flying corporate honchos without getting
influenced by their status.

While giving the CBI a free hand to probe the case,
the court had also asked the government to set up a special
court to exclusively try the spectrum scam case accused.

"We have a large number of persons who think
themselves to be the law. Law must catch them. It should be
done with greater expedition. Merely that they are on the
Forbes list or they are millionaires does not make any
difference", the bench had remarked after perusing the CBI`s
probe status report in which names of big corporate houses and
their officials had been mentioned.

But counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for petitioner
CPIL had pointed out to the court that the agencies have not
questioned the heads of several companies including those of
Swan Technology, which was controlled by Anil Ambani`s
Reliance Group, when the spectrum was allocated.

At this, the bench said, "Top authorities of companies
were not questioned. It is surprising that the managing
directors were not summoned".

Seeking to widen the CBI`s probe ambit, the apex court
had said the agency`s freedom to investigate the matter should
not be curtailed in any way and asked the agency to go beyond
the role of the four persons, including former Telecom
Minister A Raja, already arrested in the case.

"This investigation has led to prima-facie conclusion
about the culpability of four persons. What about the
beneficiaries. They are part of a larger conspiracy. We want
to know about them. You (CBI) take instructions and tell us
what action you are planning to take", the bench had told the
CBI.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 23:43

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