Supreme Court pulls up IT department for ‘shoddy probe’ into the 2G scam

The Supreme Court has again pulled up the agencies investigating the 2G scam — this time the Income Tax department under the Ministry of Finance.

Disappointed with the “slow progress” of the probe into upstream investors of companies that got the controversial licenses in early 2008, the Court asked the agency to speed up its investigations.

“You would have been sleeping if the Court had not intervened,” the Court noted. The Court is directly supervising the investigation — which involves agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate and the IT department.

The remarks came when the IT department said its team had gone to Mauritius — the country where most of India’s foreign investors are registered due to a special treaty — but is yet to trace the details of the investing companies. IT department said it had served show cause notices to those companies.

Many Mauritius-based companies have invested in the controversial firms that got 2G licenses in January 2008 — allegedly due to manipulation by the then telecom minister A Raja. However, due to the nature of Mauritian law, the actual source of many of these investments routed through Mauritian companies cannot be traced easily.

The Supreme Court asked the IT Department to share its current findings with the CBI — the main investigating agency and asked it to file an updated report after the June Summer break.