SC allows investigation against ED officer probing 2G cases and Aircel-Maxis deal

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the government to initiate a probe into allegations of disproportionate assets against Rajeshwar Singh, the senior Enforcement Directorate (ED) official who is investigating the Aircel-Maxis deal and 2G spectrum case.

To make it possible, the apex court removed the blanket protection from inquiry that had favoured the ED officer.

The SC while citing an affidavit said that it does not want to offer protection to anybody who is guilty, no matter how high their official position might be. The Centre also assured that it will make sure that the Aircel-Maxis probe reaches to a logical conclusion.

Earlier, the apex court said that it will not keep the Probe against the ED officer under a cloud, just because the 2G case is a sensitive issue.

Meanwhile, the Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee, appearing for the Centre, told the court that government is disposed to look into allegations that Rajeshwar was amassing disproportionate assets.

Banerjee also handed over a communication in a sealed cover to the bench while making his point.

The SC bench which comprises of Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjay K Kaul reached to the conclusion that the sealed-cover allegations against the ED officer, Rajeshwar, involves national security issues.

An ED officer cannot be given immunity just because he had a blanket protection from the apex court while probing the 2G scam and the Aircel-Maxis case, the SC bench said.

“As a matter of fact, when there are allegations, whether right or wrong against you (Rajeshwar) it has to be looked into,” the bench said, adding “the things which have come before us are startling.”

“You are simply an officer. You can’t be given a blanket clean chit. Everybody is accountable. You must be accountable for any action. We need to ensure that you are accountable. We don’t want to damage you or comment against you. There are very serious allegations against you,” the bench told the ED officer.

The petition in this regard has been filed by Rajneesh Kapur, who claims to be an investigative journalist. His petition seeks investigation against Rajeshwar for allegedly amassing assets which are disproportionate to his known source of income.

Meanwhile, Rajeshwar has also filed a contempt plea against Kapur claiming that attempts are being made to scuttle or delay the ongoing probe in the Aircel Maxis case.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has also moved the top court seeking its permission to implead himself as a party in the plea filed by Kapur.

The apex court had on March 12 set a deadline of six months for the CBI and the ED to complete the investigation into the alleged irregularities in certain approvals given in the Aircel-Maxis deal case in which former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti have been questioned by probe agencies.