NEW DELHI: Even as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is yet to file an appeal more than a month after the 2G scam verdict, the Centre has replaced Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Anand Grover with Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in all cases related to the scam.
The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have 90 days from the date of verdict to file an appeal before the Delhi High Court. Sources have confirmed that the appeal is ready and is likely to be filed in the next few days.
A government notification dated February 8 states, “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (8) of section 24 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), the Central Government hereby appoints Shri Tushar Mehta, Advocate, New Delhi, as Special Public Prosecutor for conducting prosecution, appeals/revisions or other proceedings arising out of the cases related to 2G Spectrum.”
It is not clear what would be the role of present SPP Anand Grover. Grover was appointed SPP by the Supreme Court in 2014 to represent the prosecution after U U Lalit was elevated as a judge in the Supreme Court.
This is not the first time that the CBI has replaced prosecutors in the case. Senior Prosecutor K K Goel argued the case in its initial days, but he was replaced by A K Singh. Singh was dropped after he was allegedly heard during a telephonic conversation advising one of the accused how to fight the case. However, he was back in the case after some time.
In December last year, the Special CBI Court acquitted DMK politicians A Raja, Kanimozhi and fifteen others accused in the case.
Special CBI judge O P Saini had, in his 1,500-page ruling, said that the prosecution’s handling of the case was directionless and diffident.
The court had also singled out Grover for not signing several key documents which were signed by junior officers posted in the court and said, “This shows that neither any investigator nor any prosecutor was willing to take any responsibility for what was being filed or said in the court.”