Go after corporates in 2G scam: SC to CBI

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New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) Broadening the net, theSupreme Court today asked the CBI to bring under its scannercorporate houses which were beneficiaries of the 2G spectrumscam without being influenced by their status be itmillionaires or whether they are on the Forbes list.

Giving a free hand to the investigating agency andsetting the contours of the probe, the Court asked thegovernment to set up a special court exclusively to try thespectrum scam case.

A bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Gangulyasked the agency to lay its hand on the big corporate housesand the government officials who may have a role in the scam"as mere summoning them for examining them may not besufficient".

"We have a large number of persons who think themselvesto be law. Law must catch them. It should be done with greaterexpedition. Merely they are in the list of Forbes or they aremillionaires does not make any difference," the Bench saidafter perusing the status reports filed by the probe agenciesin which names of big corporates houses and their officerswere mentioned.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for an NGO,Centre for Public Interest Litigation, pointed out that theagencies have not questioned the heads of several companiesincluding Swan technology, which was controlled by AnilAmbani''s Reliance Group, when the spectrum was allocated.

At this, the Bench said "top authorities of thecompanies were not questioned. It is surprising that theManaging Directors were not summoned".

"Why CBI has not taken any action in this regard," thecourt asked.

The apex court said freedom of probe agencies shouldnot be curtailed and they should go beyond the role of thefour persons already arrested including the former telecomminister A Raja and tell the names of conspirators.

"This investigation has led to prima-facie conclusionabout the culpability of four persons. What about thebeneficiaries.

"They are part of a larger conspiracy. We wantto know about them. You (CBI) take instructions and tell uswhat action you are planning to take," the bench said.

It questioned CBI''s strategy of seeking shortcustodial remands of the accused and said it must have freehand to question anyone.

"There is something which is surprising. CBI must havea free hand to question anyone. Whether it''s freedom iscurtailed by seeking short remand....complexity is involved.

"It is a very complicated matter. We feel thatinvestigating agency must be given free hand to seek longerremand. Otherwise the whole purpose of investigation isfrustrated," the Bench said. (More) PTI AAC RKS KRH

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