File photo of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram
File photo of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram

Swamy raises questions in SC on Chidambaram's role in 2G case

United News of India

New Delhi, September 21, 2011

Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy today dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court when he produced a letter dated March 25, 2011 forwarded by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) alleging that the 2G spectrum scam would not have happened if his predecessor P Chidambaram had insisted on the allocation of licences through auction.

Dr Swamy did this during arguments on the role of Mr Chidambaram, now Union Home Minister, in the 2G case.

The letter written by the Deputy Director in the department of Economic Affairs to the Union Finance Ministry has said Mr Chimdabaram who was Finance Minister in 2007 ignored the opinion of the Department of Telecommunications insisting on an auction and approved the sale of 2G spectrum at 2001 rates in 2007, causing huge loss to the national exchequer.

According to the letter, in the meeting held on January 30, 2008 Mr Chidambaram as Finance Minister did not insist on allocation of 2G spectrum licences through public auction.

A bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly took on record the letter dated March 25, 2011 and also expressed surprise over the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) report saying that no loss has been caused to the state exchequer.

Dr Swamy has filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the role of Mr Chidambaram in the 2G spectrum scam.

The licences were allocated on a "first come first served" basis.

The CBI and the Centre are ,however, opposing the application of Dr Swamy tooth and nail.

Senior counsel K K Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, has contended that the probe in 2G spectrum scam is over and the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to order a fresh probe during the pendancy of the trial and the petitioner can approach the special court as the trial is yet to begin and the charges have not been framed by the Court till now. He said the application of Dr Swamy is already pending in the special court for making Mr Chidambaram an accused in the case.

The arguments will continue tomorrow.

Former Union Communications Minister A Raja and DMK Rajya Sabhamember K Kanimozhi have contended before the trial court that the Prime Minister should be called as a witness as he, along with Mr Chidambaram, was in the loop on all decisions.