SC for probe into allegations against ED officer probing 2G cases and Aircel-Maxis deal


The Supreme Court on Wednesday favoured a probe into allegations against an ED officer involved in the investigation into the “highly sensitive” 2G spectrum allocation scam and cases arising out of it including the Aircel-Maxis deal, saying “no officer should be under any cloud”.
A vacation bench comprising justices Arun Mishra and S.K. Kaul said that allegations levelled against senior Enforcement Directorate (ED) official Rajeshwar Singh, who is probing the Aircel-Maxis deal case, were serious and required to be looked into.
Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee, appearing for the Centre, told the court that the government was willing to investigate the allegations that Mr. Singh amassed disproportionate assets and handed over a communication in a sealed cover to the bench.
The bench, after perusing documents placed before it in a sealed cover, said sensitive issues were involved in the matter. “As a matter of fact, when there are allegations, whether right or wrong against you (Mr. Singh) it has to be looked into,” the bench said, adding “the things which have come before us are startling.”
“You are simply an officer. You can’t be given a blanket clean chit. Everybody is accountable. You must be accountable for any action. We need to ensure that you are accountable. We don’t want to damage you or comment against you. There are very serious allegations against you,” the bench told the officer. The apex court said that it would pass an appropriate order in the matter at 2 p.m. on Wednesday itself.
Rajneesh Kapur, who claims to be an investigative journalist, has filed a petition in the apex court seeking investigation against Mr. Singh for allegedly amassing assets which are disproportionate to his known source of income. Mr. Singh has also filed a separate contempt plea against Mr. Kapur and has claimed that attempts have been made to scuttle or delay the ongoing probe in the Aircel Maxis case.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has also moved the top court seeking its permission to implead himself as a party in the plea filed by Mr. Kapur. 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 FIPB approval given in the Aircel-Maxis deal case in which former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram have been questioned by probe agencies.
At the outset, the counsel appearing for Mr. Kapur, told the bench that he is an investigative journalist and said that he has filed the petition against Mr. Singh since the issue was very serious. The lawyer claimed that after filing of the petition, Mr. Kapur has been “gravely threatened” and it was pointed it out him that Mr. Singh, who was earlier posted with the Uttar Pradesh Police, has 23 recorded encounters.


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