18 Nov : The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to file by Saturday an affidavit before it on Prime Minister Manamohan Singh’s “alleged inaction and silence” on Subramaniam Swamy’s plea seeking sanction to prosecute ex- Telecom minister A Raja in the 2G spectrum scam case.
Calling the lengthy delay in taking a decision on the Janata Party leader’s petition as an “extremely serious matter”, the Apex Court also said the CAG report on the 2G spectrum allocation placed in Parliament was “revealing.”
A bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly granted time to the Centre to file the affidavit after Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium said that he is in a position to place before it the entire record on the issue.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Swamy, the president of Janta Party, seeking a direction to Prime Minister for grant of sanction for prosecution of the DMK leader who has since resigned as Telecom Minister in connection with the spectrum allocation controversy.
The Solicitor General told the court that he could file an affidavit on behalf of the government.
The bench also asked Swamy that if he wants to file any affidavit, he can do so by Monday.
It posted the matter for further hearing on Tuesday.
After a brief hearing, the bench asked the Solicitor General to file an affidavit giving details on the issue “so that tomorrow you may not say that the opportunity was not given to place the records”.
During the course of the submissions by the Solicitor General, the court said, “All these statements are oral, it will be extremely serious if we find ultimately that something is kept back from this court, so it will be appropriate to file an affidavit.”
The bench also took on record the CAG report submitted in Parliament.
At the outset, the Solicitor General submitted to the court that he has already gone through all records pertaining to Swamy’s complaint against Raja to the Prime Minister and the detailed communication between him and the PMO.
He sought to assert that total transparency was maintained on the issue.
Swamy, however, contended that he received only one letter from the PMO in March 2010 on his plea seeking prosecution of Raja.
“There was no other letter,” he said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday had asked some embarrassing questions on lenghty delay on the part of the Prime Minister in taking a decision on Swamy’s plea for grant of sanction to prosecute Raja in the Spectrum scam.
Congress Core Group meeting
The Congress top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi, are meeting in New Delhi on Thursday for a strategy session in the backdrop of united opposition’s demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the 2G spectrum scam.
The meeting of the Congress Core Group is being held amid a deadlock over the issue in the Winter Session of Parliament which started last week.
The opposition is now attacking the Prime Minister in the wake of Supreme Court’s observation on Singh’s “silence” on the spectrum scam and wants an explanation from him.
The Supreme Court has posed some embarrassing questions to the government about the lengthy delay on the part of the Prime Minister in taking a decision on a plea for sanction of prosecution of former Telecom Minister A Raja in the controversial 2G spectrum allocation issue.
The 2G spectrum allocation scandal, being dubbed by the opposition as the biggest one since Independence, has refused to die down even after the resignation of Raja and the opposition is adamant on the issue of JPC.
A luncheon meeting convened by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee failed to end the stalemate in Parliament over the demand for JPC into the spectrum issue, leaving no immediate signs for return of normalcy in both Houses.
BJP wants the JPC to probe the 2G scam as also Adarsh housing scam and corruption in Commonwealth Games.
Government is insisting that the Public Accounts Committee could do the job of finding out the truth in the matter and a JPC probe will be out of place on it.
Congress has maintained that it was “wrong and unfair” to say that the Prime Minister has not taken action and pointed out that he had secured the resignation of Raja.
The party’s defence of the Prime Minister came as the opposition launched a broadside asking him to explain in Parliament how this “murky affair” was allowed to go on for so long.
BJP leader L K Advani said, “The PM should immediately respond to what the Supreme Court has said on the Raja issue”. He observed that it was for the “first time” in the history of independent India that the apex court has “pointed fingers” at the head of a Union Government.