Friday, April 8, 2011

SC for day-to-day trial 2G Scam Case

NEW DELHI: Brushing aside Centre's objections, the Supreme Court on Friday said it would pass an order for the appointment of senior advocate UU Lalit as special public prosecutor for holding the trial of former telecom minister A Raja and others in the 2G spectrum case on a day-to-day basis without any adjournments.

Turning down the Centre's plea seeking one week time to come out with an alternate name, a bench of justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly said it will pass a formal order on the appointment of Lalit on April 11.

"We intend to pass an order directing the Government to come out with a notificatiion on the appointment of Lalit as special public prosecutor. He will also have the choice to suggest the names of other prosecutors to assist him in the case," the bench said.

The Centre, however, continued to raise objection and Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Indira Jaising, said that court should also record her statement on government's reservation on the name of Lalit.

"I do not want to be seen as consenting to the Supreme Court order," she said when the bench refused to grant more time as sought by the government which pleaded for adjournment of the case.

Senior advocate KK Venugopal, who has been appearing on behalf of CBI and ED, did not find support from another ASG Haren Rawal, also appearing for the ED, who said "it was not the suggestion of ED" but the personal opinion of Venugopal.

Venugopal, however, insisted on the name of Lalit saying "he is a person of integrity, wholly independent and well versed in criminal law".

The court after hearing the arguments fixed April 11 for passing order as the special court, exclusively set up for holding the trial 2G scam, is to conduct further proceeding on April 13.

"We would make it clear in our order that the Special court would hold trial on day-to-day basis and no adjournment on any basis would be allowed," the bench said adding that no court shall entertain any petition or application in the case and any thing relating to the case has to be filed in the Supreme Court.

The bench also directed the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to brief it about their second stage of probe into the scam after the CBI filed its first chargesheet in the case on April 2 in the special court.

Venugopal said that the second charge sheet regarding bribery angle in the scam will be filed before April 24.

He said after the filing of the chargesheets, the role of the apex court in monitoring the case will come to an end.

Earlier, the Centre had objected to the appointment of Lalit as SPP saying he did not meet the eligibility criteria for the task.

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