Confusion over the nature of the court order on Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy’s petition recalling himself as a witness in the 2G spectrum case led to two adjournsments of both Houses of Parliament, as NDA MPs chanted “Resign, Home Minister”. The Treasury benches tried to intervene, but no one was in a mood to listen.
Later, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal explained that all that the CBI court had ordered was that Swamy was permitted to testify once again in the ongoing 2G case.
If the court so warranted, it could also call other witnesses (who include CBI joint director H C Awasthi besides joint secretary to the sports ministry, Sindhushree Khullar, who formerly held the position in the finance ministry).
The case will be heard on 17 December.
Swamy, 72, had, in his plea, sought his recall to testify in the case, saying he had information that previously did not exist with him. He also pleaded that others — including P Chidambaram (who was finance minister during the 2G spectrum allocation of 2008) and some bureaucrats — also be summoned.
The court, without naming anyone, said it would consider — on the basis of the available material — whether it was necessary to call the persons Swamy has asked for as witnesses.
The petitioner said he wanted to confront the two witnesses with documents that will “prove” that Chidambaram had a role to play in the 2G spectrum scam and strengthen his case.
Earlier in the day, the CBI special court’s order on Swamy’s plea said he was permitted to recall himself as complainant witness 1 for leading further evidence.
“However, other witnesses filed with the application shall be allowed to be summoned only after the relevance of their testimony is explained by the complainant,” said judge O P Saini.
If the court is not convinced with Swamy’s testimony, then his petition would be dismissed. In that case, the witnesses need not be summoned.
On November 17, Swamy had received a 500-page file of department of telecommunication from the Central Bureau of Investigation entailing the transcripts of conversation between Chidambaram and former telecom minister A Raja, a prime accused in the 2G case. Swamy had then said he was “convinced I have a strong case (against Chidambaram) when I go to the trial court”.
The documents received by Swamy talked about the re-introduction of the lock-in period for the equity held by telecom licensee companies. The documents relate to whether Swan and Unitech should be allowed to sell their equity.
Raja has, in his defence, said on several occasions that Chidambaram had given him the go-ahead ahead to allow the two companies to sell their equity.