New Delhi, Dec 9 :
The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy as to why criminal contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him for allegedly interfering in the investigations into Sahara Group companies in the 2G spectrum scam.
The notice has also been issued to Sahara Group’s Upendra Rai and Subodh Jain as the court upheld the maintainability of the contempt petition by the Enforcement Directorate’s assistant director Rajeshwar Singh.
“We are, therefore, of the view that the petition is perfectly maintainable and this court has got a constitutional obligation to examine the truth of the allegations as to whether the respondents are attempting to derail the investigation which is being monitored by this court,” said a bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan in their judgment.
“We, therefore, issue notice to the respondents to show cause why proceedings be not initiated against them for interfering with the court monitored criminal investigation.”
The court has given Roy and the other two four weeks to respond to the contempt notice.
Rejecting the contention by Roy and others there was no proper compliance of the Provisions of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971, by the petitioner Singh, Justice Radhakrishnan,speaking for the bench, said that even if that was so it could not prevent the top court from taking recourse to the Constitution’s Article 129 whose jurisdiction was independent of the act.
“The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 129 of the Constitution is independent of the Contempt of Courts Act and the powers conferred under Article 129 of the Constitution cannot be denuded, restricted or limited by the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971”, the court said.
It also upheld Rajeshwar Singh invoking Article 142 saying that it was conceived to meet situations which cannot be effectively and appropriately tackled by existing provisions of law.
The court said that assuming there has not been any proper compliance of the provisions of the 1971 act, this would not deter or take away the constitutional powers conferred on the court under Article 129 “to examine, whether, there has been any attempt by anybody to interfere with an investigation, which is being monitored by this court”.
Rajeshwar Singh, in his contempt plea, had told the court that he was being personally attacked by Roy and two others through various means to obstruct his investigation into 2G scam ordered by the apex court.
He had told the court that he was sought to intimidated by false anonymous and pseudonymous complaints being made against him to various agencies as well as rumours spread against him.
Rajeshwar Singh had invoked the Constitution’s Articles 129 and 142 while moving the contempt plea.
Referring to his allegations, the court said: “We may point out that the allegations raised by the petitioner in the contempt petition are of very serious nature and, if proved, would amount to interference with the administration of justice, especially in a court monitored investigation.”
The court said that it was incumbent upon an officer entrusted with the task of carrying on the investigation to report to the court if he was experiencing any threat or pressure from any quarters.
If an officer carrying out court monitored investigation confronts any problem, the court was duty bound and obliged to ensure that nobody puts any pressure or threat on such an officer, it said, noting any interference to scuttle a court monitored investigation would amount to interfering with the administration of justice.
“The court is duty bound to protect the dignity and authority of this Court, at any cost, or else, the entire administration of justice will crumble and law and order would be a casualty,” it said. ( IANS)