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No evidence against Chidambaram, SC dumps Swamy's plea

Last updated on: August 24, 2012 11:35 IST

No evidence against Chidambaram, SC dumps Swamy's plea

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In a huge relief to Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea for making him a co-accused in the 2G spectrum case, saying there was no prima facie material against him of any criminal conspiracy or procuring of any pecuniary gain.

"No case is made out against P Chidambaram and the special leave petition filed against the judgment of the special CBI court is not liable to be entertained. Accordingly, the SLP is rejected," a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan said.

The petition was filed by Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy seeking a direction for a probe against Chidambaram and for making him a co-accused along with former Telecom Minister A Raja.

Dismissing his plea, the bench said, criminal conspiracy cannot be inferred merely on the suspicion that there was a meeting for taking decision between the officials of department of telecom and two ministers -- Raja and Chidambaram, who was then also finance minister.

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The bench said there was "no prima facie material" that Chidambaram got any pecuniary benefit nor was there any material on record to prove that he, as the then finance minister, abused his official position.

The judges said that the poor management in allocation of spectrum cannot be said to be a product of criminal conspiracy.

This is the second time a judicial relief has come for Chidambaram after a Delhi court on February 4 this year had dismissed a plea of a co-accused in the 2G case.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini had held that Chidambaram had not indulged in any criminal conspiracy or derived any pecuniary advantage in the decisions taken with Raja.

Giving a clean chit to the finance minister in the allocation of 2G spectrum in 2008, Saini had said Chidambaram was party to only two decisions -- keeping spectrum prices at 2001 level and dilution of equity by two companies -- which "are not per se criminal".

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Meanwhile, reacting to the verdict, Swamy said he will seek a review of the Supreme Court judgement.

"I will seek a review of the judgement. I did not talk about conspiracy. I spoke about loss to the nation," Swamy said outside the Supreme Court shortly after his petition was rejected.

"It is a bad judgement. The Supreme Court never allowed me to complete my submissions," he told reporters.

He said the court has given its verdict on issues, which he never raised and not touched on the important aspect of huge loss to the nation.

Swamy, in his appeal, had contended that the Special CBI court erred in its order and had alleged that Chidambaram was equally culpable like Raja as he also had a role in deciding the spectrum pricing and allowing telecom companies to off-load shares to foreign firms.

He had said the evidence brought before the trial court was sufficient to show that Chidambaram, as the then finance minister, had prima facie committed offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and other criminal laws.

The government quickly came out in strong defence of Chidambaram. "Chidambaram has nothing to do with 2G case. Swamy is always involved in filing these kind of petitions. So, there is no ground for his petition. We will face him legally and politically if he tries to malign the Congress party," Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy said.




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