NEWDELHI: Now, all eyes are set on the trial court hearing scheduled on Saturday, January 4.
The Supreme Court on Thursday left it to the trial court to decide on the demand for investigation of the alleged role of Home Minister P Chidambaram in the 2G case, refusing to give the CBI direction on the issue.
Disposing of Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy’s petition seeking a direction to the CBI to probe the alleged role of Chidambaram, who held the finance portfolio at the time of the 2G allocation, the two-judge bench of Justices AK Ganguly and GS Singhvi, said its order should in no way influence the proceedings before the trial court.
Swamy had contended that Chidambaram as finance minister had a role in fixing prices of licences and in the dilution of shares to two foreign companies.
The trial court of Judge OP Saini, who has been hearing the 2G cases, will be making the final decision on whether to summon or prosecute Chidambaram. The SC has given two weeks to the trial court to take that call. A closer look at the SC judgment, however, reveals that it heavily indicted former minister Raja, but not the PM or the then Finance Minister.
While indicting Raja for manipulating the issue of 122 licences given in 22 circles, the court found that though the 2007 first-come-first-serve recommendation of TRAI was followed and placed before the Telecom Commission, the Finance Secretary was not informed about the meeting and that Raja did not get in touch with the Finance Ministry to discuss and finalise the pricing formula. The judgment noted that “the Minister of C&IT (that is, Raja) was... conscious of the fact that the Secretary, Finance, had objected to the allocation of 2G spectrum at the rates fixed in 2001, but he did not consult the Finance Minister (Chidambaram).”