With differences cropping up between the investigating and prosecution wing of the CBI in the 2G case, the Supreme Court on Thursday said it will decide whether the Attorney General or the Special Public Prosecutor will be the final authority to give opinion in dealing with it.
A bench of justice GS Singhvi and justice KS Radhakrishnan decided to examine the issue as the CBI stated that there was a difference of opinion between the two wings of the agency on filing of the charge sheet against the accused named in the FIR on the issue of spectrum allocation during the tenure of late Pramod Mahajan as the Telecom Minister in NDA regime.
The bench wanted to know why the CBI was seeking opinion of the Attorney General on the issue when the Government has appointed Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) for the prosecution of the cases arising out of the investigation in the 2G spectrum scam.
The bench said it will consider the issue on November 19.
The CBI in its progress report into the probe of the spectrum allocation during Mahajan's tenure stated that after Director (Prosecution) in the CBI disagreed with the investigators on filing the charge sheet against the accused named in the FIR, the matter was referred to the Attorney General for his opinion.
However, when the bench wanted to know "why the CBI was not taking the opinion of the SPP," senior advocate K K Venugopal, counsel for CBI, said the agency manual and the apex court judgement on the issue came in the way of taking any other route.
"The SPP was appointed after a lot of reluctance from the government. We think it is appropriate that the matter is referred to the SPP since he is dealing with the case and its trial," the bench said and added that "the whole object of SPP was there to have total independence for the CBI which can consult him."
Senior advocate UU Lalit was appointed as the SPP.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who was appearing for NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), said "difference of opinion between the two wings of CBI has become a pattern" and it is all to protect the Chairman of Bharti Group, Sunil Mittal.