The Supreme Court bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Sanjay Kaul has removed the ‘immunity’ enjoyed by Enforcement Directorate official Rajeshwar Singh and said the government can go ahead with any probe into his conduct, and remove him, if it wants to, from the investigation.
Rajeshwar Singh, on his part, claimed that his life was under threat.
The order follows the submission of a ‘secret letter’ by the government to the bench, reportedly containing its concerns and grounds for suspicion about the investigating officer.
Singh had been appointed by the Supreme Court as the investigating officer for the 2G scam in the court-monitored investigation.
At the time, he had been given protection from government investigations so as to ensure that he was not harassed by the ruling party, some of whose leaders and allies were facing charges in the 2G case.
That protection has effectively ended today.
It is also very likely that he could be removed from the Maxis investigation now.
On its part, the government reassured the court that it will complete the investigation into the Aircel-Maxis case “in a timebound manner”.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had earlier expressed concerns that removing Singh from the investigation will cause inordinate delays in the investigation process.
In a Tweet today morning, he also said he suspects ‘internal sabotage’ in the move to remove Singh. “BJP government at Centre, judging by today proceedings on Aircel Maxis in SC, is under internal sabotage. Have to find out who is where in the coming Mahabharata,” Swamy had said.
After the order, Swamy reportedly told the court that he was okay as long as the government remains committed to completing the investigations in an expeditious manner.
Singh has said that he was being targeted by top corporations and politicians in India for investigating them in an impartial manner. The latest attack on Singh came in the manner of a PIL filed by a self-described investigative journalist alleging corruption.
Justice Arun Mishra in the morning had refused to reveal the contents of the secret letter, saying it contained “sensitive information” concerning “national security” and therefore cannot be revealed to the public.