The Supreme Court would tomorrow hear a plea by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking to implead himself as a party in a petition which has sought a probe into an alleged disproportionate assets of a senior Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer investigating the Aircel-Maxis case.
The Supreme Court would tomorrow hear a plea by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking to implead himself as a party in a petition which has sought a probe into an alleged disproportionate assets of a senior Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer investigating the Aircel-Maxis case. A vacation bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and S K Kaul would also hear tomorrow a contempt petition filed separately by ED’s Joint Director Rajeshwar Singh who has claimed that attempts have been made to scuttle and delay the ongoing probe in this case.
Recently, a fresh petition was filed by one Rajneesh Kapur alleging that Singh, the investigating officer (IO) in the Aircel-Maxis case, has amassed disproportionate assets beyond the known sources of his income. Swamy, who had earlier moved the top court for expeditious investigation in the Aircel-Maxis case, has sought court’s direction for making himself as a party in the fresh plea filed by Kapur against the ED official.
The matter was today mentioned before the bench by Swamy who said that the apex court had in March “expressed anxiety” that the probe in the 2G spectrum cases, including Aircel-Maxis deal, was getting delayed. He said that the court had on March 12 observed that some “invisible persons” were “blocking” the probe in these cases and had given six months time to CBI and ED to complete their investigation.
“This fresh petition (against Singh) will delay the investigation. There are anonymous letters against the investigation officer (Singh),” Swamy told the bench, adding, “I may be permitted to intervene in the matter”. Senior advocate R S Suri, appearing for Singh, told the bench that the ED officer has also filed a contempt petition in the matter and it should also be heard by the court.
He said the top court had on March 12 given six months time to the agencies to complete the probe in these cases and one charge sheet has already been filed while the ED was in the process of filing another charge sheet. Suri claimed that a similar issue had cropped up before the apex court about seven years ago when a bench headed by then top court judge, Justice (retd) G S Singhvi, was seized of the matter.
He said the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and CBI had then given clean chit to Singh when similar averments regarding alleged disproportionate assets were made against him. He alleged that Singh has filed a contempt petition as false facts have been made out in the plea filed against him and urged the bench to list the matter for hearing tomorrow.
Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that the main matter would come up for hearing on July 3 and the pleas filed by Swamy and Singh should also be heard along with it. “We will not decide the main matter. Let us see the application,” the bench observed and posted the pleas filed by Swamy and Singh for hearing tomorrow.
On June 20, Justice Indu Malhotra had recused herself from hearing in the matter without assigning any reason after Swamy had mentioned the matter. The BJP leader had alleged that at the behest of some powerful people, the investigation in the case was being delayed. In his petition, Kapur had said that certain orders were passed by the apex court protecting Rajeshwar Singh against any action by any of the authorities.
It was contended in his petition that the earlier orders of apex court could apply only against any mala fide or frivolous complaint, but there cannot be an absolute bar against action for the alleged criminal acts of the officer, which may be seen by the apex court itself through any independent mechanism.
Singh, in his separate contempt plea, has claimed that he was being hounded by frivolous allegations by proxies who hold “vested interests” in the 2G spectrum case. He has alleged that his probe has “irked a sizeable number of individuals, corporates, lobbyists and corrupt and dishonest persons who have time and again filed false, frivolous and motivated complaints against him”.
He has said the fresh plea against him was nothing but a bunch of old and unsuccessful allegations and was a “brazen attempt to delay the completion of 2G spectrum case and the Aircel-Maxis case”.
The apex court had on March 12 set a deadline of six months for the CBI and the ED to complete the investigation into the alleged irregularities in the FIPB approval given in the Aircel-Maxis deal case in which the former finance minister Chidambaram and his son Karti were questioned by the probe agencies.