Tuesday, March 1, 2011

CBI ex-officer’s ICC role stirs row ,Petitioner Alleges Link Between Official And Balwa

New Delhi: Allegations of a sinister manoeuvre involving a senior CBI officer who has taken voluntary retirement and joined the International Cricket Council (ICC) engaged the Supreme Court’s attention on Tuesday during a hearing on the probe into the 2G scam.
A bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly inquired from CBI whether any of its officers had taken voluntary retirement but added it would not take cognisance of the allegations for time being.
The petitioner’s counsel Prashant Bhushan alleged that there was some design in CBI joint director Y P Singh, who was involved with the spectrum probe, joining the ICC. He said there had been accusations about financial transactions between companies linked to a Union cabinet minister who was at the helm of the ICC and Shahid Balwa, the chief of D B Group, who has been arrested for alleged involvement in the spectrum scam.
Bhushan alleged that Balwa, who floated Swan Telecom and sold off 45% of its equity to UAE’s Etisalat, had financial transactions running into hundreds of crores with companies linked to the minister.
CBI counsel K K Venugopal objected to Bhushan making allegations orally. ``The CBI will have difficulty in responding to bald allegations. Let him (Bhushan) file an affidavit and make these allegations,’’ Venugopal said.
The bench wanted to know whether any officer had indeed taken voluntary retirement, although it stressed that it has not taken cognizance of the allegations by Bhushan. ``We have insisted that nothing should be said against anybody who is not a party in the proceedings. We are not taking cognisance of it for the time being,’’ it said.

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