Classified CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) status report ‘draft’ on the 2G scam has been reportedly found by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from the house of Congress leader P Chidambaram’s house. The status report was reportedly submitted by the investigative agency to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover to the SC double bench of Justices GS Singhvi and K Radhakrishnan on August 1, 2013 when Chidambaram was a Union Minister in the UPA-2 cabinet. Such reports from investigative agencies are not meant to be made available for anyone else except the Supreme Court.
The draft was reportedly found by the ED during the raids at Chidambaram’s Jor Bagh residence in Delhi on 13th January. According to Economic Times report, an ED official on condition of anonymity, said, he document seized was an “unsigned draft” and contained only those portions of the CBI report to the apex court that dealt with the Aircel-Maxis deal. The ED has now asked the CBI to give its opinion on the draft even as the CBI looks at investigating how the report leaked.
ED found an unsigned copy which means report was leaked from CBI. ED had brought this to knowledge of CBI. Content of the report has been verified by CBI. CBI has instituted an inquiry on how the report reached the residence of P Chidambaram: ED Sources
— ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2018
According to Daily Pioneer, the CBI was to place another detailed status report in a sealed cover before the Supreme Court’s 2G Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy on 23rd January. On the last date of hearing on 4th January, the Judges insisted that CBI should file the status report on 23rd January. However the 23rd January hearing did not take place as one of the Judges was on leave. So, it seems like Chidambaram was privy to the report before the investigative agency put it up before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has shown its displeasure on the delay in Aircel-Maxis probe. As per this report, the CBI Director has ordered an internal probe on the same. Daily Pioneer says that according to their sources, the report was leaked to Chidambaram by a serving Joint Director of CBI in connivance with an IPS officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre.
The report further says,
Chidambaram acknowledged the seizure of the CBI’s draft status report and also put his signature on the receipt of seized materials handed over to him by ED investigators. But he did not satisfactorily answer how the CBI documents came to his custody, sources said.
The draft report details Chidambaram’s role in the scam and his collusion with then Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran in illegally executing the Aircel-Maxis deal. The report also spoke about the statements of Finance Ministry officials on the role of Chidambaram in approving the Maxis’ takeover of Aircel without sending the files to Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
CBI’s internal vigilance team is checking the role of officers from Superintendent-level in the Delhi’s Anti Corruption Branch on the leakage of the draft status report. CBI’s top brass first started doubting the “existence of moles within” when it’s Look Out Circular (LOC) against Chidambaram’s son Karti was ‘leaked’ after which he approached the Madras High Court for cancellation of the circular.
The CBI is probing whether Chidambaram’s son, Karti Chidambaram, benefited from the FIPB clearance to the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when his father the Union finance. Chidamabaram has repeatedly denied any impropriety and maintained the clearance followed regular procedure.