Apex court suggests special court for 2G scam trial

Thursday, February 10, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court Thursday sought the central government’s response on its suggestion to set up a special court to exclusively carry out the trial in the 2G spectrum scam case.

“Our endeavour is that the case is taken to its logical conclusion and is not frustrated by some technical endeavours,” said the apex court bench of Justice G.S Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly.

“The government will inform the court on its suggestion to set up a special court to exclusively deal with the 2G scam case. No court will order or interfere with the proceedings of this (special) court except this court (apex court),” the court said.

The apex court’s suggestion came while it was considering the status report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on its investigations into the acts of wrongdoing in the grant of 2G spectrum licences to telecom companies.

The court said that sending the case to CBI courts which were already overburdened would be futile and the entire purpose would be defeated. “The burden of work on CBI courts is so heavy that the trial can not be completed in the desired time,” the court said.

The court pointed to a case before a CBI court in Gujarat, which it (apex court) had dealt a few days ago, wherein charge sheet was filed after seven years and the charges were framed after two years.

Attorney General G. Vahanvati told the court that they would take up the matter with the chief justice of the Delhi High Court.

If a special court is set up for the spectrum scam cases, then it will be the second such instance till today.

Earlier, in the wake of the 1992 securities scam, involving late stock broker Harshad Mehta, a special court was set up to conduct the trial of the cases.

The securities scam hit the countrys stock market when late Congress leader P.V. Narasimha Rao was the prime minister.

The apex court, after its direction of Dec 16, 2010, is monitoring the CBI investigation into 2G spectrum scam case.

The court directed the investigating agency to probe into the acts of wrongdoing in the grant of 2G licences and the grant of dual use technology prior to Oct 19, 2007 — much before the licences were officially allocated in 2008.

The investigating agency is also looking into the failure of the department of telecommunications to proceed against the telecom giants for their failure in carrying out their roll out obligation.

The court also directed investigation by the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate in the case from 2001-06.

The matter will come up for hearing March 1, when Vahanvati will inform the court about the government’s response to the suggestion to set up a special court to try the 2G scam case.

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