New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday took strong exception to Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal’s statements discounting the Comptroller and Auditor General’s findings into the alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum.
Acting on an interlocutory application filed by Subramanian Swamy to bring the court’s attention to the ‘derogatory statements’ made by Sibal on the CAG report on 2G spectrum allocation, a bench comprising Justice AK Ganguly and GS Singhvi said, “It is unfortunate. The minister should behave with some sense of responsibility.”
Sibal had on January 7, disputed the Comptroller and Auditor General’s presumptive loss estimate in the allocation of 2G spectrum. He said the methodology used was “utterly erroneous” in pegging Rs.1.76 lakh crore ($40 billion) as the notional loss while awarding airwaves for 2G phone services in 2008.
The Court also directed the CBI to ensure that they not get influenced by anybody.
“In our opinion, the CBI which is conducting investigation into the 2G scam is expected to carry out the probe without being influenced by the statement made by anybody, anywhere, including the press,” the bench said.
Additionally, the court also accepted Swamy’s amended writ petition in which he had requested that all the 11 companies, who are said to have benefitted by the auction, be made parties in the case.
On January 10, the SC had issued notices to the government and 11 companies that allegedly did not fulfil their roll-out obligations as per the terms and conditions of being issued spectrum.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Swamy said that, in view of the developments, “Had it been any minister, with some self respect, he would have resigned by now.”
The court itself had asked the CBI to take into consideration the CAG report in the case and we have the minister is rejecting it, Swamy pointed out.
The Janata Party president also accused Sibal of changing his stance on the entire issue. “In 2001, he had opposed first-come- first- policy and now he is supporting it.”
“He (Sibal) has also represented many telecom companies as a lawyer and hence there is a clear case of conflict of interest,” Swamy added.