Court upholds Swamy’s plea against Raja

A Delhi court today held as ”maintainable” Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy’s private complaint to prosecute former Telecom Minister A Raja in the 2G scam and began the process of recording depositions and examining evidence for summoning the accused. 

“I am of the opinion that complaint as such is maintainable,” Special CBI Judge Pradeep Chaddah said, beginning the court proceedings on Swamy’s complaint for Raja’s prosecution for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crores to the public exchequer in allocation of 2G spectrum.

“I have gone through the complaint and the bunch of annexure and supporting documents. I am of the view that this complaint is maintainable and the proceedings will continue,” Chaddah said, while asking Swamy to have his statement recorded with the court as per the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“We will not hesitate in issuing process against the accused if prima facie sufficient material is brought on the record,” the judge said.

While recording his statement as a complainant, Swamy again referred to his plea to summon Raja and detailed the sequence of events and the alleged criminal culpability involved in the award of 122 telecom licenses on January 11, 2008.

“In view of all the statements and the documents, contained in detail in my 375-pages complaint, a strong prime facie case is made out against former Telecom Minister A Raja,” testified Swamy.

“They are also confirmed by the findings of the CAG report which necessities the cognisance of my complaint and setting of the process under the CrPC for a proper prosecution of the matter,” he said.

During the hour-long court proceeding, Swamy also presented various documents to support his complaint, pleading that it be taken note of and summons or non-bailable warrant be issued to Raja.

After Swamy’s deposition, the court adjourned the matter to February 5 for recording the testimonies of other witnesses, which as per Swamy’s complaint, includes various CAG officials who have to testify to the authenticity of the CAG report on the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Earlier, after pronouncing Swamy’s complaint as maintainable, the court spelled out the modalities of further proceedings saying first of all Swamy will have to depose as a complainant in the case and then only his plea seeking appointment as a deemed public prosecutor, could be decided.

“You cannot assume the roles of a complainant and a public prosecutor simultaneously,” the judge said.

The prayer included Swamy’s plea for taking cognisance of his complaint and summoning of Raja to take the case involving a fraud of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to its logical conclusion.

As per the second prayer, Swamy wanted the court to appoint him “as a deemed public prosecutor under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.”

As per his third prayer, Swamy wanted the court’s directions to investigating agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate to assist him in conducting prosecution and in the further investigation into the scam.

Explaining his rationale to the court for filing his private complaint before it, Swamy had said that though the CBI has registered an FIR in the matter, it has named no body as an accused.

Quoting from the CAG report, he had alleged that Raja committed fraud by adopting the first-come-first-served basis in allocating the spectrum to ineligible companies.

85 out of 122 licenses which were awarded to various companies were illegal, Swamy had said, adding that the figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore has been arrived at by the CAG after computing the losses in allocation of the spectrum.

In his complaint for prosecution of Raja filed under section 190 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Swamy also sought directions to the investigative agencies to find out the co-conspirators and other accused in the scam.