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New Delhi: The Supreme Court today asked the government to file an affidavit in the 2G spectrum case before the Court by Saturday.
A bench of judges GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly granted time to the Centre to file the affidavit after solicitor general Gopal Subramanium said that he was in a position to place before it the entire record on the matter, reports PTI.
The court was continuing the hearing on a petition by Janta Party president Subramanium Swamy seeking a direction to prime minister Manmohan Singh to grant sanction for prosecution of A Raja, who resigned as telecom minister on Sunday over the scam.
The judges also advised Mr Swamy that he could file a further affidavit if he wanted to by Monday. They posted the matter for further hearing on Tuesday.
At the outset, the solicitor general told the Court that he had gone through the records pertaining to Mr Swamy’s complaint against Raja to the prime minister and the communications between him and the prime minister’s office (PMO). He tried to explain that transparency was maintained on the issue.
But Mr Swamy contended that he had received only one letter from the PMO in March 2010 in respone to his request seeking prosecution of Mr Raja. “There was no other letter,” he said. Mr Swamy said he had also received a letter from Mr Raja as to why sanction would not be granted as he had requested. At this point, the judges wondered how Mr Raja wrote such a letter. “He is not a sanctioning authority. We cannot consider it,” the Court said.
After a brief hearing, the bench asked the solicitor general to file an affidavit giving details on the issue “so that tomorrow you may not say that the opportunity was not given to place the records.” The bench also took on record the report of the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) on the 2G spectrum allocation matter that was tabled in parliament on Tuesday.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the non-government organisation, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, said that the observations made in the CAG report were damaging. To this, the judges said, “Why are you saying it is damaging, it is revealing.”
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had asked some embarrassing questions about the inordinate delay on the part of the prime minister in taking a decision on Mr Swamy’s request for sanction to prosecute Mr Raja in the scam. “Can the sanctioning authority (the prime minister in this case) sit on the complaint,” the judges asked. “The three months time for grant of sanction laid by the Supreme Court is clear for fair and good governance,” they told the solicitor general.
“We find it is now more than 16 months. The sanctioning authority can say I am not inclined to give sanction. But we find alleged inaction and silence troubling,” the judges observed. “The sanctioning authority could have said yes or no.”