New Delhi: The Union Government on Tuesday
objected in the Supreme Court to the CBI`s decision to appoint
senior advocate UU Lalit as special public prosecutor for the
trial of former Telecom Minister A Raja and other accused in
the 2G spectrum allocation case.
Attorney General GE Vahanvati told a bench of
justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly that under the provisions
of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the special prosecutor
has to be working under the state or the Union government for
at least seven years.
After this technical question was raised by the
government, the bench asked the Attorney General to come out
with the clear position by Friday.
While Vahanvati was making the submission, senior
advocate KK Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, said Lalit has
been part of Maharashtra government`s panel for 15 years and
on the Union government`s panel for five years.
Vahanvati said he was seeking a week to clarify
the entire position as there was some apprehensions that
Lalit`s appointment as the SPP could be challenged at any
stage and it may derail the entire prosecution in the case.
During the hearing, the bench said that Lalit`s name
was suggested for appointment as SPP as he is one of the most
competent person for the job.
The CBI has registered cases against the accused
persons under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the
Prevention of Corruption Act and the Prevention of Money
The CBI had on April 1 informed the apex court that
senior advocate Lalit will be appointed as special public
prosecutor for assisting the special court, set up for the
exclusive trial of the 2G spectrum case.
Venugopal had told the court that the agency had been
facing lot of difficulties in finalising the name of special
public prosecutor to lead a team of its prosecutors in
assisting the special court for trial of the 2G case.
He had said the CBI faced difficulty as most of the
senior counsel have been hired by one or the other party.
Maintaining that in the given circumstances, Lalit was
the best choice as CBI`s special public prosecutor, Venugopal
had pointed out that he had a vast experience in various
Endorsing a plea by the Centre for Public Interest
Litigation for appointment of a senior counsel as CBI
prosecutor, the apex court too had been insisting on
appointment of an able advocate as CBI prosecutor.