The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the petition filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy seeking to make Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram a co-accused in the 2G spectrum case.
A Bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan in their 59-page judgment said, “Criminal conspiracy cannot be inferred on the mere fact that there were official discussions between the officers of the Ministry of Finance and those of the Department of Telecommunications and between two Ministers, which are all recorded.”
In a judgment that also came as a relief for the government in its current troubled times, the court dismissed the plea for a CBI inquiry against Chidambaram saying that there was no material to establish that he abused his official position as the then Finance Minister.
Nor had he conspired or colluded with former Telecom Minister A Raja to obtain any pecuniary advantage for himself or any other persons, it held.
The Bench said there was no prima facie material to suggest that Chidambaram deliberately allowed dilution of equity of the two companies, i.e. Swan Telecom Pvt and Unitech Ltd, which are chargesheeted in the case.
While Chidambaram refused to comment on the verdict, Swamy complained it was a bad judgment and said he would file a review petition.
The Congress party and several ministers hailed the judgment saying it had vindicated the position of Chidambaram and the government, but Opposition parties said still the government was politically and morally accountable for the 2G scam.
However, while absolving Chidambaram of criminal culpability in spectrum allocation and pricing, the Supreme Court Bench observed that “poor management” and “inaccurate decision” by itself cannot be said to be a product of criminal conspiracy.
The judgment was delivered on two petitions filed — one by Swamy and the other by NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation.