SC defers hearing on pleas opposing PIL to probe ED officer

SC defers hearing on pleas opposing PIL to probe ED officer
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred till Wednesday the hearing on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea opposing a PIL seeking probe into alleged disproportionate assets of Enforcement Directorate’s official Rajeshwar Singh who is investigating 2G scam and Aircel-Maxis cases.

With this the hearing on the contempt plea by Rajeshwar Singh, a Joint Director in the ED, against PIL petitioner Rajneesh Kapur who had made the allegation too was put-off for Wednesday.

A vacation bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul adjourned the hearing, asking Swamy to give notice to Kapur, the Managing Editor, Kaalchakra News Bureau.

“Give notice to the PIL petitioner to appear on Wednesday. Let us see what the petitioner has to say,” said the bench as Swamy proceeded to address the court on plea seeking to be impleaded in the matter.

As at the outset of the hearing bench inquired about the petition and the orders passed by the top court, Swamy. describing the allegation against the ED official as “scurrilous”. drew the attention of the court towards the March 16, 2011, May 6, 2011 and March 12, 2018 orders of the top court.

In its March 16, 2011 order, the top court had said: “We make it clear that no one including the newspapers shall interfere with the functioning of the CBI team and the officers of the Enforcement Directorate who are investigating what has been described as 2G scam and the court will take serious cognizance of any endeavour made by any person or group of persons in this regards.”

By May 6, 2011 order, the top court taking the suo motu cognizance of the attempt by a reporter of Sahara Samay to interfere with the investigation into 2G scam and to pressurise Rajeshwar Singh from proceeding into the matter had issue notice of contempt to Sahara head Subroto Roy, Sahara Samay Subodh Jain and Upendra Rai.

Then Swamy took the court through March 12, 2018 order of the top court directing the completion of investigation into 2G and Aircel-Maxis cases within six months.

The March 12 order had said that the “investigations shall be completed within six months in all the cases and on all the aspects of the matter and no stone shall be left unturned in this regard and all guilty shall be booked.”

Rajeshwar Singh has sought initiation of suo motu contempt against Kapur for approaching the top court with set of allegations which were nothing but a rehash of the allegations that were levelled seven years ago that were looked into by top court, CBI, CVC and rejected.

Telling the court that PIL petitioner has held back some material information relating to the issue raised by him, Rajeshwar Singh has asserted that it was nothing but an “essentially duplicate” of similar petition filed seven years back on which contempt proceedings are pending against three people including Sahara head Subrata Roy.

He contended that “levelling allegations of personal nature is an attempt to deter the petitioner (Rajeshwar Singh) from carrying out and complete the investigation” into 2G and Aircel-Maxis cases within six months as directed by the top court.

The March 12 order directing completion of the investigation within six months is “probably the reason for filling such a frivolous petition by the contemnor, who is acting as a proxy of some vested interests, with a sole motive to obstruct the justice delivery system and frustrate the proper functioning and administration of duties by the petitioner (Rajeshwar Singh)…”, says the contempt plea.

It is “clear and apparent” that the “sole motive” of the PIL petitioner Kapur by acting as a “proxy to those holding vested interests” is to somehow “scuttle, delay and frustrate” the ongoing investigation into Aircel-Maxis case, he argued.

On June 5 on Rajneesh Kapur’s PIL , the vacation bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Ashok Bhushan agreed to examine the plea alleging that Rajeshwar Singh has acquired disproportionate assets but no action was being initiated against him as he was protected by certain orders of the court passed in 2014 and 2017.

IANS