New Delhi: Taking strong exception to Uttar Pradesh government initiating action against a senior ED officer probing 2G scam the Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the proceedings against him saying he is being targeted at the behest of someone at the top in the hierarchy.
A bench of justices GS Singhvi and KS Radhakrishanan said that the ED`s Deputy Director Rajeshwar Singh, on whose plea contempt proceeding were initiated against Sahara Group Chief Subrata Roy for allegedly interfering with the probe in the scam, needs to be protected.
The bench said said that allegations against him are being made to "prevent him from conducting the probe in the scam fearlessly".
"He must be protected. He is acting as an officer of the court and we are monitoring the case. They are flouting our order by taking action against him. Hope that good sense prevails upon them," the bench said.
Enforcement Directorate submitted that complaint against Singh has been filed in various ministries and PIL has also been filed against him in Allahabad High Court. It also said that same complaint have been sent to many MPs.
"It shows that it was done on the instruction of someone at the top in the hierarchy," the bench said, adding, "We won`t be surprised if that happens to anyone of us also."
It said that the officer would not be able to probe the scam if he is targeted by filing petition and complaints against him.
"If this is allowed to happen then no one would be able to investigate the case," the bench said. "God has been very kind to Rajeshwar Singh. He is still alive and is surviving," it said.
The court also stayed hearing on a PIL filed against
Singh in the High Court.
"In the meanwhile, proceeding on PIL before High Court shall remain stayed. We also direct state government and all its officers not to proceed with any inquiry on the complaint dated September 15, 2012 or any any similar complaint by any other person," the bench said.
The court was hearing an application filed by Singh pleading that frivolous allegations are being levelled against him after he had sought action against Sahara Chief and two journalists--Upendra Rai and Subodh Jain-- of Sahara India News Network for trying to influence him in the probe.
Taking into account Singh`s complaint, the bench said that the action taken by the state government is violative of its earlier order.
"Prima facie it indicates that administrative apparatus of the state is being used to influence the investigating officer," the bench said while noting that such attempts were being made so that the probe cannot be carried out in a "fearless" manner.
The court said the "documents filed with the application show that constant efforts were being made to harass and browbeat Singh who on behalf of the ED was investigating various facets of the 2G spectrum scam.
The apex court had on May 6 last year found prima facie ground for initiating suo motu contempt proceedings against Subrata Roy for allegedly interfering with the probe in the 2G spectrum case and issued notice to them.
"Having gone through the records we are prima facie of the view that an attempt has been made to interfere with the investigation conducted by Rajeshwar Singh in what has been described as 2G spectrum scam case and related matters. Therefore, we take suo motu cognisance and issue notices to them," the apex court had said.