The Supreme Court today refused to pass an order regarding the promotion of an Enforcement Directorate officer probing the Aircel-Maxis deal case, who has claimed that frivolous complaints filed against him was deterring the department to promote him.
The official, Rajeshwar Singh, has alleged that due to such false allegations being levelled against him, including one by a “so-called journalist” who was recently arrested by CBI, the department has not given him the promotion due to him.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said it could pass any order regarding the promotion of the officer only after it went into the merits of the case.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Singh, said the officer was currently investigating the Aircel-Maxis case and has been in a target of frivolous complaints.
“False allegations are being levelled against him by over 20 frivolous complaints made to the department. Last complaint was made by a so-called reporter who made completely baseless allegations. These complaints and allegations have hindered my promotion which was due to me for past seven months,” Rohatgi said.
The bench asked Rohatgi why the probe in the Aircel-Maxis case has not been completed in six years.
He said that 2G spectrum case probed by the officer has been completed and the trial court has given the verdict, while Aircel-Maxis case is being monitored by the top court.
“That so called reporter, who had made the frivolous complaints, was recently arrested by CBI on charges of extortion, blackmail and others. He (journalist Upendra Rai) has also filed a petition before the apex court for protection and was mentioned on the last date of hearing, but it appears that the plea has now been withdrawn,” Rohatgi said.
He said the court should grant some protection to the officer that no such complaints are entertained by the department and the promotion due to him be given. “At least the court should for now make observation in the order that the promotion due to him, should be given,” Rohatgi said.
The bench said, “For that we have to go into merits of the case before passing any orders. We have to hear other parties also to pass orders in the matter”.
BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramaniam Swamy, appearing in person, said earlier too, the court had protected the officer who has done “excellent work” in the case.
He also supported Rohatgi’s argument and said his promotion should not be held up for such false complaints.
The bench said there were several part-heard matters listed today and would take up the case next week.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, said he has filed a chronology of the dates and orders passed by the courts regarding the case.
The apex court had last week refused to interfere with the arrest of journalist Upendra Rai by the CBI for his alleged involvement in dubious financial transactions.
Rai had claimed he was framed in the case as he has been writing against ED official, Rajeshwar Singh, who was also part of the team which probed the 2G spectrum allocation scam case.
On November 1 last year, the supreme court had restrained the government from taking any action against Singh, following some anonymous complaints against him. The court’s direction had come after Singh had alleged there was a “conspiracy” behind filing of “frivolous anonymous complaints” against him.