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2G: Centre, CBI defend Chidambaram, tells SC to keep hands off

New Delhi, The Union Government and the Central Bureau of Investigation today strongly defended Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in 2G Spectrum case, virtually telling the Supreme Court to keep its hands off the matter.

Senior Counsel K K Venugopal appearing for CBI told a bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly, “Let the system continue and step in only if it fails.” Mr Venugopal also submitted that CBI cannot probe policy and also pointed out that the Comptroller and Auditor General in its report did not raise a finger at Union Finance Ministry.

CBI counsel further submitted that Mr Chidambaram as Union Finance Minister in January 2008 wanted auction of 2G Spectrum.

Janata Party President Dr Subramanian Swamy, however contended before the court that the role of Mr Chidambaram in 2G Scam must be investigated by CBI.

Yesterday, Dr Swamy had produced a letter sent by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to PMO stating that the scam could have been prevented had Mr Chidambaram overruled Telecom Minister A Raja and insisted for allocation of licenses through auction sale and not on the basis of “first come first serve’.

Mr Swamy had also produced another document before the apex court that the then Union Finance Minister Mr Chidambaram had approved of the sale of 2G spectrum at 2001 rates in January 2008.

The apex court took both the documents on record. The spectrum was sold only for Rs 1650 crore.

The apex court adjourned the hearing till September 27.

Counsel for the Centre PP Rao also told the Supreme Court after filing of the charge sheet there was no need for Supreme Court monitoring of the case and the Judges should not cross Laxman Rekha.

The Supreme Court, however, reacted by telling the government that Laxman Rekha has to be crossed to eradicate the evil.


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