Aircel Maxis Probe: Supreme Court Asks CBI, What Is Taking So Long?

2G spectrum allocation case: SC directs CBI, ED to complete probe in six months

Aircel-Maxis case: SC asks if invisible hands are delaying probe, directs completion of investigation in 6 months

Pulling up CBI and ED over the delay in the alleged 2G scam probe, the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday directed the agencies to complete the investigations within six months.

"It is a very important case and the country must know the results whatever it may be.why is this investigation taking so long and what are the reasons for delay?" said the top court.

The issue of FIPB clearance in the the Aircel-Maxis deal had surfaced during the probe into the 2G spectrum related cases. A bench headed by justice Arun Mishra pulled up investigative agencies, CBI and ED, for not completing the investigation in time.

The judges added: "We direct the competent investigating agencies to complete the investigation within six months in all the cases and aspects concerned with 2G spectrum case. We are anxious about this case, we are very unhappy", the bench said.

In its order, the apex court asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as well as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) if there were any "invisible hands" that were stalling the probe. We are unhappy the way things are going on as the investigation has not seen light of the day.

The court noted that the case has come before this Bench after a gap of four years.

Senior advocate Anand Grover, who was appointed the special public prosecutor in this case in 2014, was relieved of his duties. Since the trial was over, the government is free to appoint any lawyer it wants to as the special public prosecutor, the court said. The investigators are also examining allegations that former finance minister P. Chidambaramignored Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) regulations by clearing the foreign investment proposal in 2006 to a Mauritius company to acquire 73.99% equity in M/s Aircel Ltd, a telecom service provider.

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