The Supreme Court Tuesday reserved its order on whether to issue notice to union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on a plea of Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy seeking to make him a co-accused along with former telecom minister A. Raja in the 2G pricing case.
A bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan also reserved the order on Centre for Public Interest Litigation’s (CPIL) plea for a court-monitored CBI probe into Chidambaram’s role as the then finance minister in giving his nod for giving 2G licences embedded with spectrum in 2008 at 2001 prices.
Swamy has challenged special CBI Judge O.P. Saini’s Feb 4 order rejecting his plea to make Chidambaram a co-accused.
He alleged that as the then finance minister, Chidambaram was party to two decisions, that is, keeping the spectrum prices in 2008 at 2001 level and dilution of equity by the two companies. Swamy argued these are two activities for which Raja has been charged.
“Facts and circumstances and ramifications of the aforesaid two decisions, for which a meeting of minds had taken place, and thus he (Chidambaram) was a party to the said two decisions” and liable to be proceeded against, Swamy had contended before the court.
The CPIL which has sought direction to the CBI to conduct a thorough investigation into the role of the finance ministry then under Chidambaram) in the 2G spectrum scam, contended that Chidambram had overruled his officials who had said that in 2008 the 2G spectrum (radio waves) could not be given at 2001 prices.
The CPIL has told the court that both Raja and Chidambram knew that spectrum being given to companies would be traded to earn premium by way of mergers and acquisitions and the government should have a lion share in this premium. But when it actually came to stake claim on the premium, Chidambram described it as infusion of more capital.
The CPIL had told the court that the DoT recommendation to hike the licence fee by 3.5 times too was ignored.