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2G Case: CBI Dismisses Charges Regarding Stalling Trial

The CBI has dismissed the charge that it was stalling trial in the 2G case as alleged by an NGO and maintained that it has done everything to ensure smooth progress in the hearing.

Agency sources said acting promptly on the August 12 directions of the apex court, the CBI handed over all the documents and records to eminent lawyer K K Venugopal, who would pursue the matter in the Supreme Court.

This included the suggestion submitted by CBI Director Ranjit Sinha in which he had pointed out about not taking on record an opinion of Law and Justice Ministry which had claimed that there was no case made out against Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL).

The sources said that the opinion of the CBI director was in response to a petition filed by RTL seeking quashing of FIR filed by the agency against it.

The CBI director did not act suo moto and rather was asked to give his opinion in the matter which he did after perusing the entire case records, the sources said.

The documents were handed to Venugopal for his perusal as he would be making a submission in the Supreme Court on September 2 in response to a PIL filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation, one of petitioners on whose plea 122 licences for the 2G spectrum were scrapped on February 2, 2012 by the apex court.

The opinion of the director had been sent to the then CBI counsel U U Lalit, who was later elevated as Supreme Court judge, the sources said.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, claimed that the CBI director was attempting to reopen the whole probe on the premise that the charge sheet was based on a wrong premise.

Bhushan said that the charge sheet was filed on the premise that since RTL was not eligible for the 2G licences, it created Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd as its front company to secure the radio waves while violating the clause of Unified Access Service Licences (UASL) guidelines.

However, now it reportedly appears that the director is of the view that on the day of award of licences, RTL had given up the ownership of Swan Telecom, Bhushan said.

The Supreme Court is also expected to be briefed about the probe being conducted by the CBI to investigate alleged link between Tata Group and Unitech for securing 2G spectrum.

During the last hearing Bhushan had alleged that Deputy Inspector General Santosh Rastogi had been removed from the probe, a charge denied by the CBI.

The CBI clarified to Venugopal that the allegation made in the apex court were misleading as Rastogi, a 1998 Maharashtra cadre officer, was never a member of the probe team and that he had volunteered himself for a transfer to another department four months ago.

However, in compliance of the Supreme Court order, the transfer of the DIG had been cancelled and he continues to function in his earlier capacity, the sources said.

CBI has already registered a preliminary enquiry in the matter and has also sought a report of Serious Fraud Investigating Office under Ministry of Corporate Affairs which had claimed that Unitech was a front company for the Tata group in securing 2G spectrum licence.

Venugopal was informed about alleged "insubordination" on part of the DIG as he had recused himself from probing the Tata-Unitech deal despite clear orders from the Director CBI to do so.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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