Writ Petition (C) Nos. 548, 550, 551, 552 of 2012 and 17 of 2013 and I.A. Nos. 59, 61, 63 and 68 in Civil Appeal No. 10660 of 2010. Case: Shahid Balwa Vs Union of India (UOI) and Ors.. Supreme Court (India)

Case NumberWrit Petition (C) Nos. 548, 550, 551, 552 of 2012 and 17 of 2013 and I.A. Nos. 59, 61, 63 and 68 in Civil Appeal No. 10660 of 2010
JudgesG.S. Singhvi and K.S. Panicker Radhakrishnan, JJ.
IssueIndian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 109, 120B, 420, 468, 471; Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 - Section 8; Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 - Sections 3(1), 4(4), 13(1), 13(2), 19(3); Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 - Section 43(1); Delhi Police Establishment Act - Section 6; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) - Sections 309, 48...
Judgement DateSeptember 03, 2013
CourtSupreme Court (India)


K.S. Panicker Radhakrishnan, J.

  1. We are, in these cases, called upon to examine the question whether two orders passed by this Court on 11.04.2011 and 09.11.2012 in Civil Appeal No. 10660 of 2010, in exercise of powers conferred on this Court under Articles 136 and 142 of the Constitution of India, while monitoring the investigation of 2G related cases, are liable to be recalled, de hors the rights guaranteed to the Petitioners to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court under Articles 32 and 136 of the Constitution of India, if aggrieved by the orders passed by the Special Court dealing with 2G Spectrum case.

  2. Civil Appeal No. 10660 of 2010, in which the above-mentioned orders have been passed, was filed under Article 136 of the Constitution of India by special leave, praying for a Court monitored investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or by a Special Investigating Team into what was described as the 2G Spectrum Scam and also for a direction to investigate the role played by A. Raja, the then Union Minister for Department of Telecommunications (DoT), senior officers of DoT, middlemen, businessmen and others. Before this Court, it was pointed out that the CBI had lodged a first information report on 21.10.2009 alleging that during the years 2000-2008 certain officials of the DoT entered into a criminal conspiracy with certain private companies and misused their official position in the grant of Unified Access Licenses causing wrongful loss to the nation, which was estimated to be more than Rs. 22,000 crores. CBI, following that, registered a case No. RC-DAI-2009-A-0045(2G Spectrum Case) on 21.10.2009 under Section 120B Indian Penal Code, 13(1)(d) of the PC Act against a former Cabinet Minister and others.

  3. Before this Court parties produced large number of documents, including the Performance Audit Report (Draft and Final) prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on the issue of licence and allocation of 2G Spectrum by DoT, Ministry of Communications and Information and Technology for the period from 2003-2004 to 2009-2010. Report of the CAG, was submitted to the President of India, as per Article 151 of the Constitution of India. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) also conducted an inquiry under Section 8(d) of the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 and noticed grave irregularities in the grant of licences. The CVC on 12.10.2009 had forwarded the enquiry report to the Director, CBI to investigate into the matter to establish the criminal conspiracy in the allocation of 2G Spectrum under UASL policy of DoT and to bring to book all wrongdoers.

  4. After taking into consideration of all those factors, including the report of the CVC as well as the findings recorded by the CAG, this Court agreed for a Court monitored investigation and held as follows:

    We are, prima facie, satisfied that the allegations contained in the writ petition and the affidavits filed before this Court, which are supported not only by the documents produced by them, but also the report of the Central Vigilance Commission, which was forwarded to the Director, CBI on 12.10.2009 and the findings recorded by the CAG in the Performance Audit Report, need a thorough and impartial investigation. However, at this stage, we do not consider it necessary to appoint a Special Team to investigate what the Appellants have described as 2G Spectrum Scam because the Government of India has, keeping in view the law laid down in Vineet Narain's case and others passed in other cases, agreed for a Court monitored investigation.

  5. This Court, with a view to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated investigation by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate, gave the following directions vide its order dated 16.12.2010:

    (i) The CBI shall conduct thorough investigation into various issues high-lighted in the report of the Central Vigilance Commission, which was forwarded to the director, CBI vide letter dated 12.10.2009 and the report of the CAG, who have prima facie found serious irregularities in the grant of licences to 122 applicants, majority of whom are said to be ineligible, the blatant violation of the terms and conditions of licences and huge loss to the public exchequer running into several thousand crores. The CBI should also probe how licences were granted to large number of ineligible applicants and who was responsible for the same and why the TRAI and the DoT did not take action against those licensees who sold their stake/equities for many thousand crores and also against those who failed to fulfill rollout obligations and comply with other conditions of licence.

    (ii) The CBI shall conduct the investigation without being influenced by any functionary, agency or instrumentality of the State and irrespective of the position, rank or status of the person to be investigated/probed.

    (iii) The CBI shall, if it has already not registered first information report in the context of the alleged irregularities committed in the grant of licences from 2001 to 2006-2007, now register a case and conduct thorough investigation with particular emphasis on the loss caused to the public exchequer and corresponding gain to the licensees/service providers and also on the issue of allowing use of dual/alternate technology by some service providers even before the decision was made public vide press release dated 19.10.2007.

    (iv) The CBI shall also make investigation into the allegation of grant of huge loans by the public sector and other banks to some of the companies which have succeeded in obtaining licences in 2008 and find out whether the officers of the DoT were signatories to the loan agreement executed by the private companies and if so, why and with whose permission they did so.

    (v) The Directorate of Enforcement/ concerned agencies of the Income Tax Department shall continue their investigation without any hindrance or interference by any one.

    (vi) Both the agencies, i.e. the CBI and the Directorate of Enforcement shall share information with each other and ensure that the investigation is not hampered in any manner whatsoever.

    (vii) The Director General, Income Tax (Investigation) shall, after completion of analysis of the transcripts of the...

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