SC verdict on monitoring of 2G spectrum probe today

The CBI and ED had assured SC that the investigations into the scam will be completed by March 2011.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Thursday pronounce its verdict on the issue of monitoring of the investigation into second generation mobile spectrum allocation case by the apex court.

A bench comprising Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly had reserved the judgement on the petition filed by an NGO Centre for Public interest Litigation (CPI) after a marathon hearing on the issue.

The court had heard the arguments forwarded by CPIL, CBI, Enforcement Directorate, department of telecommunication and former telecom minister A Raja who resigned from the cabinet in the wake of the scam.

While wrapping up the arguments on December 8, the apex court had sought to widen the ambit of CBI probe into the 2G mobile spectrum scam to cover the period of NDA government by suggesting that the controversial first-come first-served policy introduced in 2001 be also looked into.

The bench had observed "the issue raised in the case is not limited to only Rs 1.76 lakh crore but has a much wider compass. We would not like to prejudice the probe. But what happened in 2001 needs to be looked into. It is for CBI to investigate and find out."

The judges` remarks assume importance as A Raja has maintained that he was following the 2001 policy.

The court had also taken the opportunity to express surprise over public sector banks providing loans to the tune of Rs 10,000 crores to the 2G mobile spectrum licensees on the basis of hypothecation of licenses.

The CBI and ED had submitted in a sealed cover the reports on the status of the probe.

The agencies had assured the court that the investigations into the scam will be completed by March 2011.

However, both of them had maintained that they will need some more time to cover the international angle involved in the scam.

During the hearing, the agencies had agreed to the monitoring of the probe by the apex court.

The FIR in the scam was registered by CBI on October 21, 2009, against the unnammed persons under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The ED had lodged the complaint under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and Foreign Exchange Management Act.

During the last hearing on December 8, ED had said that the status report filed by it contains details of the investigation since March 9, 2010 to November 29.