Spectrum scam, black money case to top apex court agenda

Sunday, February 27, 2011

NEW DELHI - After a relatively calm week for the government, hounded by allegations of scams, the Supreme Court is all set to hear this week cases relating to 2G spectrum allocation, black money stashed in foreign banks and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia’s wire-tapping.

A petition seeking enhancement of compensation for victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy and another challenging the right to education law would also come up in the apex court during the period.

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia would hear Monday the central government’s petition seeking enhancement of compensation for the victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. The additional compensation being sought could be as high as Rs.7,844.22 crore.

The government sought the enhancement of compensation, determined by the apex court in 1989, on the grounds that the settlement arrived in 1989 was based on the “assumptions of truth unrelated to realities”.

The gas tragedy killed 3,000 people instantly and affected over 15,000 due to a leak of methyl isocyanate gas from the Union Carbide’s pesticide plant in the heart of Bhopal.

The issue of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into 2G spectrum allocation would come up before a bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly Tuesday.

The central government would tell the court if it was inclined to set up a special court to exclusively try the cases arising out of acts of wrongdoing in the allocation of 2G licences and spectrum.

It may be recalled that during the last hearing of the matter, the court asked the central government to respond to its suggestion to set up a special court to exclusively try the cases rooted in 2G scam.

The court would also take up Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy’s petition seeking cancellation of telecom companies’ licences on the grounds that they failed to fulfill obligations of contract. The plea has been opposed by telecom service providers.

On Tuesday itself, a bench of Chief Justice Kapadia, Justice K.S. Panicker Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar will continue the hearing on a petition by unaided private schools challenging the reservation of 25 percent seats for poor students under the right to education law.

The bench of Justice Singhvi and Justice Ganguly Wednesday would resume hearing on Tata group chief Ratan Tata’s petition seeking investigation into the source of Radia tape leak and action against those officials responsible for it.

In the last hearing, Tata alleged that the central government was lax in its investigation into the matter.

A bench of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice S.S. Nijjar would Thursday resume hearing on a petition by Ram Jethmalani seeking direction to the government to take steps to bring back ill-gotten money stashed in foreign banks by Indian citizens.

During the last hearing, Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam that the country’s top tax evader Hasan Ali was in the country and would not be allowed to go abroad.

Filed under: Court, Immigration

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