SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Rajeshwar Singh Versus Subrata Roy Sahara and Others
(Before : G.S. Singhvi and Asok Kumar Ganguly, JJ.)
Compt. Pet. (C) No. 224 of 2011 in C.A. No. 10660 of 2010 :
Decided On: 06-05-2011
Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002—Sections 50(2) and 50(3).
1. In the main case i.e. Civil Appeal No. 10660 of 2010 titled “Center for Public Interest Litigation and Ors. v. Union of India and Ors.”, this Court had, on 16.3.2011, issued the following direction:
While adjourning the case, we make it clear that no one including the newspapers shall interfere with the functioning of the CBI team and the officers of the Enforcement Directorate who are investigating what has been described as 2-G scam and the Court will take serious cognizance of any endeavour made by any person or group of persons in this regard.
2. Shri Rajeshwar Singh, Assistant Director of Enforcement in the Directorate of Enforcement, who is investigating the case with reference to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (for short, “the Act”) issued summons dated 2.2.2011 and 30.3.2011 to the Managing Director of M/s. Sahara Prime City Ltd. and M/s. India Commercial Corporation Ltd. under Section 50(2) and (3) of the Act requiring him to appear along with the documents mentioned in the schedule appended to the summons.
3. On 5.5.2011, a communication was sent to Shri Rajeshwar Singh by one Shri Subodh Jain, who described himself as reporter of Sahara Samay, asking him to answer 25 questions with an indication that Sahara News Network is planing to do a series of stories based on the documents allegedly in its possession.
4. Shri K.K. Venugopal, learned senic(sic) counsel representing the C.B.I. and the Enforcement Directorate in Civil Appeal No. 10660 of 2010 submitted that all the questions contained in the communication of Shri Subodh Jain are absolutely personal to Shri Rajeshwar Singh and are intended to threaten him with adverse publicity apparently because he has issued summons to the Managing Director of the organisation. Shri Venugopal then produced two scaled envelopes and stated that the same contain the answers prepared by Shri Rajeshwar Singh to the 25 questions. The sealed envelopes were opened. We have perused the answers prepared by Shri Rajeshwar Singh.
5. We are prima facie satisfied that an attempt has been made to interfere with the investigation being conducted by Shri Rajeshwar Singh in what has been described as 2G Scam and related matters by trying to pressurize him not to proceed with the investigation qua certain individuals. Therefore, we take suo motu cognizance and direct issue of notice.
6. Shri Gaurav Kejriwal, Advocate assisting Shri Sidharth Luthra, learned senior counsel accepts notice on behalf of Respondent Nos. 1 and 2. Shri CD. Singh, Advocate accepts notice for Respondent No. 3.
7. Reply affidavits be filed within six weeks. Further affidavit of Shri Rajeshwar Singh may be filed within next two weeks.
8. List the case on 11th July, 2011.
9. Shri Luthra says that during the pendency of this petition and the main case, his clients or any employee of M/s. Sahara India TV Network, NOIDA, U.P. – a unit of Sahara India Commercial Corporation Ltd. and Sahara India Mass Communication, NOIDA, U.P. will not do or publish any story or programme concerning Shri Rajeshwar Singh, Assistant Director, Enforcement Directorate, Government of India.
10. The envelopes produced by Shri K.K. Venugopal are taken on record. The Court Masters are directed to reseal the same. The needful has been done.
(2011) 11 SCALE 402