Swamy moves court against Sibal’s attack on CAG

Friday, January 14, 2011

NEW DELHI - Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy Friday moved the Supreme Court against the “intemperate and uncalled for public attack” by Communications Minister Kapil Sibal on the “CAG methodology for calculating the loss in allocating 2G spectrum in 2008 at 2001 prices.

Swamy said that the way Sibal has led the attack on the CAG methodology for calculating the losses suffered by the government may prejudice the CBI investigations and cause an obstruction to justice”.

His application pleaded that the court should “ensure that the said CBI inquiry is carried out without interference for which purpose the monitoring was directed by this hon’ble court. Nothing must permit the slightest derogation from that objective”.

The manner in which Sibal has criticized the approach of the CAG in estimating the loss “tantamount to ridiculing the CAG, an institution enshrined in the Constitution”, Dr. Swamy said.

“The telecom minister has even gone to the extent of issuing a veiled warning of a breach of secrecy on the part of the CAG, thereby intending to overawe an institution constitutionally empowered to oversee the finances of the government,” the application read.

The application said that it was evident from Sibal’s “considered view” “that in fact there was little or no wrongdoing, and hence whatever had gone wrong could be set right with a small fine”.

In pursuance of this thinking, Swamy said that the ministry has already collected Rs.73.73 crores as penalty by way of liquidated damages for certain infractions of the issued licenses. It is apprehended that further such adjudication by the ministry may be carried out.

Thus the money that would be collected, (around Rs. 219 crores at the highest) may not be even one percent of what these licenses would have fetched in the open market even by conservative estimates, he argued.

The application further pleaded the court to direct that all such and further adjudication by the ministry not be carried out except under the supervision of the apex court, and all the actions of the ministry in respect of 2G spectrum be subject to the orders of the apex court and its final verdict in this matter.

Swamy said that though the matter was still pending before the apex court, Sibal was talking about putting in place the new National Telecom Policy within a 100 days.

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