The government Tuesday described as “baseless” the allegation that Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid’s opinion on a service provider facing trial in the 2G case amounted to giving it a clean chit and weakened the prosecution case against it.
“The applicants’ plea that interference of an influential minister is evident, is baseless,” said an affidavit filed by Ram Meena, director, department of telecommunications.
He said the proceedings before the apex court which started as public interest litigation were turning out to be a political interest litigation.
The affidavit filed Tuesday was in response to Dec 15, 2011, application by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) alleging interference by Khurshid in the 2G matter by “publicly giving clean chit to Essar/Loop”.
The CPIL objected to the statement by Khurshid, the then corporate affairs minister, that Swan was not a front company of the Reliance Group.
The affidavit described as “groundless” the apprehension that the opinion expressed by the minister would weaken the cases against the service providers facing prosecution in the 2G scam.
The affidavit denied that Khurshid was publicly giving clean chit to Essar/Loop. “It is emphatically denied that the law minister is publicly giving clean chit to Essar/Loop,” the affidavit read.
The opinion of the law ministry reflected the understanding of the facts and law and the investigating agency was not bound by any opinion rendered by it.
The investigating agency made its own assessment of the facts on the basis of its own understanding of law and accordingly proceeded in the matter, the affidavit.
“No department of the government can interfere with the ongoing investigation of the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) or the ED (Enforcement Directorate) much less the applicants (CPIL) who are private parties and have no role at all in this matter,” the affidavit asserted.
The affidavit said that the CPIL had made it a “practice to make serious allegations against the functionaries of the government holding high constitutional positions, one after another”.
“It shows a design to tarnish their image and discredit the government, taking undue advantage of wide publicity given to court proceedings, including the baseless allegations,” it said.
The affidavit said that the CPIL “cannot assume the role of self-appointed supervisors of investigation on the basis of their own suspicion and presumption that every one is corrupt”.
The CPIL in the name of bringing certain facts on record had been filing applications wherein it was targeting individual ministers or the attorney general or officials of the CBI by name in flagrant violation of the principles of natural justice.
The affidavit said that the application by the CPIL should be dismissed.