SC leaves ED official case to Centre

New Delhi

The Supreme Court  has left it to the Centre to decide whether to enquire against Enforcement Directorate Joint Director Rajeshwar Singh, probing the 2G scam including Aircel-Maxis case, in view of the “serious” charges against him.

A Vacation Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjay Kishan Kaul said that in view of the allegations levelled against Mr. Singh, the Centre could also take a call on whether he would have any role to play in further investigation of the Aircel-Maxis case.

The top court also modified its earlier order granting protection to Mr. Singh against inquiry after perusing a report submitted in a sealed envelope by the government.

“When there are allegations, whether right or wrong, against you [Mr. Singh], it has to be looked into. The other issue is that you should not be victimised. The third point is whether it would be appropriate for you to investigate when you are under a cloud and under investigation,” the Bench said during the hearing.

“The things which have come before us are startling,” the apex court noted, adding that the contents of the sealed report were “highly sensitive” having a bearing on national security.

The Bench also noted that it wasn’t anybody’s case that the government was seeking to thwart the ongoing investigation.

Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee, appearing for the Centre, said the government was willing to probe the charges that Mr. Singh amassed disproportionate assets.

The government also gave an assurance that the investigation into the Aircel-Maxis case would be done as per the specific time schedule fixed by the top court which, on March 12, had given a deadline of six months to complete the probe.

During the hearing, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy defended Mr. Singh saying that similar allegations were levelled against him but the probe agencies had given him a clean chit.

After the pronouncement of the Supreme Court order, Mr. Swamy held a press conference where he made public some documents, which, he claimed, were the same documents placed in a sealed cover before the top court by the Centre.

Following this, the ED issued a statement defending Mr. Singh.“To put the record straight, Mr. Singh received a call in 2016 from a person based out of Dubai, who gave important information regarding a case being investigated by the ED. Mr. Singh, being a responsible officer with outstanding career records, passed on this information to the Directorate and the same was used in the investigation,” said the agency.

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