SC dismisses Swamy’s plea against Chidambaram (Third Lead)August 24th, 2012 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) In major relief for Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, the Supreme Court Friday rejected Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy’s plea to make Chidambaram the co-accused with former communications minister A. Raja in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
Rejecting Swamy’s plea, the apex court bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and S.K. Radhakrishnan said: “We are of the considered view that materials on record do not show that P. Chidambaram had abused his position as a minister of finance or conspired or colluded with A. Raja so as to fix low-entry fee by non-visiting spectrum charges fixed in the year 2001.”
The court said that no material was made available even for “a prima facie conclusion” that Chidambaram had “deliberately allowed dilution of equity of the two companies, Swan and Unitech”.
Pronouncing the judgment, Justice Radhakrishnan said: “No material is also available even prima facie to conclude that P. Chidambaram had abused his official position, or used any corrupt or illegal means for obtaining any pecuniary advantage for himself or any other persons, including A. Raja.”
“Suspicion, however strong, cannot take the place of legal proof and the meeting between Chidambaram and Raja would not by itself be sufficient to infer the existence of a criminal conspiracy so as to indict Chidambaram,” the judgment said, rejecting Swamy’s allegation of criminal conspiracy between Chidambaram and Raja.
“Criminal conspiracy cannot be inferred on the mere fact that there were official discussions between the officers of the MoF (ministry of finance) and that of DoT (department of telecommunications) and between two ministers, which are all recorded,” the judgment said.
The court said “might be or might not be” while referring to a contention by Swamy and Prashant Bhushan that the situation could have been avoided if the finance minister and prime minister had intervened.
The court said: “A wrong judgment or an inaccurate or incorrect approach or poor management by itself, even after due deliberations between ministers or even with the prime minister, by itself cannot be said to be a product of criminal conspiracy.”
Swamy had alleged that Raja could not have alone committed the offences alleged against him and he did all this in connivance with Chidambaram. Swamy had alleged that so far as the various charges were concerned, Raja and Chidambaram were jointly and severely responsible for the allocation of 2G licences in 2008 at 2001 prices.
Referring to the two meetings that Chidambram had with Raja in May and June 2008 for “resolving the then outstanding issues relating to the allocation and pricing 2G and 3G spectrums”, the judgment said that the “meeting of two ministers would not by itself be sufficient to infer the existence of a conspiracy”.
Rejecting the contention that Chidambaram had overruled his own finance ministry officials who had favoured auction, the court said: “The allegation that Chidambaram had overruled his officers’ views and had conspired with Raja is without any basis.”
The court noted that even before the two meetings between Chidambram and Raja, the finance secretary and telecom secretary had met on April 24, 2008. They had agreed that it might not be possible to charge operators who already have allocation up to 6.2 MHz. And that the principle of equity and level playing field would require that the operators who get fresh allotment of spectrum up to 6.2 MHz for GSM too should not be charged.
Having rejected the petition of Swamy and an application by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), the court said: “We are, therefore, of the considered opinion that no case is made out to interfere with the order dated February 4, 2012, passed by special judge CBI…”
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- Apex court reserves order on Chidambaram in 2G case (Lead) - Apr 24, 2012
- Swamy moves SC to make Chidambaram an accused - Feb 24, 2012
- No proof to try Chidambaram in 2G case: Court - Feb 04, 2012
- SC rejects Swamy's plea against Chidambaram - Aug 24, 2012
- Relief for Chidambaram: Key points of court decision - Feb 04, 2012
- Order reserved on Swamy plea for Chidambaram's trial (Lead) - Jan 22, 2012
- Swamy's plea dismissed, relief for Chidambaram (Afternoon Lead) - Feb 04, 2012
- Chidambaram overruled officials on 2G, apex court told - Apr 04, 2012
- 2G case: Swamy gives apex court proof on Chidambaram's role (Lead) - Sep 21, 2011
- Sibal denies Chidambaram had role in 2G scam, BJP differs - Dec 10, 2011
- CBI probe sought into Chidambaram's role in 2G scam (Second Lead) - Feb 24, 2012
- Relief for Chidambaram as court dismisses Swamy's plea (Second Lead) - Feb 04, 2012
Tags: allegation, apex, apex court, bhushan, contention, court bench, criminal conspiracy, dilution, finance minister, legal proof, minister of finance, ministry of finance, New Delhi, party president, plea, radhakrishnan, raja, spectrum allocation, swamy, year 2001