Supreme Court slams Amar Singh for wasting its time (Lead)

February 9th, 2011 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, Feb 9 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday slammed Rajya Sabha member and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh for wasting its time by withdrawing his allegation that the Congress was instrumental in getting his telephone tapped way back in 2005.”Is it appropriate for this court to spend time on a petition based on fabricated documents?” the apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly asked.

“The court is a victim of your affidavit because it (the court) initiated action on your petition. This matter is engaging the attention of this court for how many years. How many hours have been spent? At the end of the day, you are not able to pinpoint averment. Now a major chunk of your averment is being withdrawn. Judges here are overworked. But look at the way it (court) was treated,” the court said.

The court chided Amar Singh saying, “There is no sanctity of the court. (You) virtually took the court for a ride.”

The apex court observation came in the wake of an affidavit Amar Singh filed withdrawing his earlier allegation that in 2005 his telephones were intercepted by the government at the instance of the Congress party.

In his petition filed in 2006, Singh named Congress president Sonia Gandhi as one of the respondents.

Amar Singh’s revised affidavit filed Wednesday said he was “satisfied with the investigation of Delhi Police” on his complaint of his phone being tapped and, therefore, “withdraws all averments, contentions and allegations made against Respondent No.7 (Sonia Gandhi)”.

During investigations into the phone tapping, it was found that an employee of a security agency, on contract with a telecom service provider, was involved in an unlawful tapping of Amar Singh’s phone.

The tapping was based on two allegedly forged letters issued by Delhi Police and the Delhi government authorising the tapping.

The apex court restrained the publication of transcripts of the Amar Singh tapes by media.

Appearing for Amar Singh, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi justifying the petition said the “factum of the illegal tapping of the petitioner’s (Amar Singh) phone has not changed.”

“What I thought was the reason (involvement of the Congress) to best of my belief then has changed today in the light of the new facts,” Singhvi told the court.

He said that it was because of litigation by his client that there are new guidelines to prevent and check illegal phone tapping.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium pleaded for the winding up of the proceedings as the “foundation (of the case) has gone and matter has assumed a different dimension”.

The court wanted the solicitor general to address the question how telecom service provider could engage a private security agency for carrying out such a sensitive work. The court noted that security agencies were known more for doing wrong things than otherwise.

“The service provider should have examined (tapping) order and seen the inherent contradiction in the order,” the court said.

“You forge and prosper. This will be a lucrative business. How many cases the courts can go on prosecuting,” the court said.

When the court was told that the charge sheet in the case was filed Feb 15, 2006, and the charges were framed Feb 6, 2010, it wanted to know why it took four years for the framing of charges. And why was it that so far only one witness has been examined.

The court asked Subramanium to provide details as to why it took four years to frame charges and what were the different orders passed in these years.

The matter will come up for further hearing Friday.

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