2G: SC asks CBI to probe Finace Ministery officals

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 10: The Supreme Court today asked the CBI to investigate why Finance Ministry officials were not consulted while the decision on allocation of spectrum was taken by changing policies.

"This is the starting point and exclusion of Secretary, Ministry of Finance, at the most crucial stage."

"four important persons who really mattered were excluded. CBI should thoroughly investigate this aspect," a bench comprising Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly said.

"We will not like to prejudice anything but approvals were granted over telephone," the Bench said.

It said policy decision on the spectrum was taken which had grave influence on the financial institutions.

"The review of the policy will also come up. When we will finally decide it (the policy matter) will also come under scrutiny," the bench said.

The remarks of the bench came while perusing the status report filed by the CBI and ED into the progress of the investigations into the 2G spectrum case.

Senior advocte KK Venugopal read out the contents of the reports filed by the agencies in which role of the four arrested accused -- former telecom minister A Raja, Siddharth Behura (former telecom secretary), R K Chandolia (Raja''s Private Secretary) and Shahid Balwa, head of DB Realty came for mention in the scam.

The senior advocate read out the report without naming any individuals whose names were mentioned in the report for their alleged involvement in the scam, which according the CAG report caused a presumptive loss of RS 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.

However, names of some companies came into open who were allotted spectrum. They were Videocon, Swan Telecom, S-Tel, and Etisalat.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), which had filed a PIL on the issue, said CBI was pinning upon all kinds of people and leaving out the large corporate responsible for the scam.

"Essar is engaged in the major fraud. They concealed their ownership about the Loop Telecom and got the licence for the 2G spectrum. Nothing has come out what is the investigation on that," he alleged when Venugopal was reading the reports of CBI and ED.

However, the Bench pacified him and said "let us go through the reports and then your arguments will be more relevant".

Venugopal said the probe reports have established that "even before the licences were issued and registered" money transaction had started taking place within the country and in foreign countries like Singapore and Dubai.

The investigation has revealed that borrowing were made from various foreign banks and an example was given about Videocon.

The bench noted that details were given in the report about the 10 companies which were covered in the investigation and data were given in some cases.

Venugopal said according to the ED report till now 22 persons have been examined on the financial aspect of the scam in which the case has been registered under the Prevention of Money Laundry Act.

Venugopal said after filing of the chargesheet, further proceedings like attachment of properties of accused will be take on the direction of the competent court.

The senior advocate said the ED was facing some difficulties in its probe in the foreign countries as the Interpol was not assisting properly and there was no response to the Letters Rogatory issued by the court here to some countries.


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