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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Supreme Court to decide on prosecution of P Chidambaram - battle of Subrahmanya Swamy

Even his strongest political detractors admire him.  He was born in Mylapore, his father hailed from Madurai; he is married to a Parsi, his brother-in-law is Jewish, his son-in-law Muslim, his sister-in-law Christian and his profile received yet another boost when the Supreme Court ruled that the permission to prosecute a public servant cannot be delayed beyond four months.  He heads the Janata Party – an amalgam born opposing emergency and which swept to power to form the first non-Congress government in the history of the Republic of India in 1977.  There may not be a direct answer on whether the constituents of that Govt remain as they are as 3 decades is too long for political realignments.

The Spectruam which has felled many political pedestals would not have been alive but for his rhetoric and singular pursuance in courts.  Years back in Nov 2008, Subramanian Swamy wrote the first of five letters to PM Manmohan Singh seeking permission to prosecute A. Raja in regards to the 2G spectrum scam and now it is a year since Raja is languishing in prison. Singh took no action, leading Swamy to file a case on his own in the Supreme Court of India regarding the matter, which then asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to produce a detailed report on the matter.

Swami’s allegations are much deeper that what has come to light thus far.  He claims strong evidence to corrupt acts of many politicians and claims that more heads would roll.  He filed before the Apex Court seeking directions on whether an ordinary citizen has the right to file complaint for obtaining sanction of prosecution and the rules on grant of sanction within a specified period.  In its latest order, arming Swamy, the Supreme Court stated that anyone could set the criminal law in motion upon filing of a complaint except where a law creating the said offence contained provisions to the contrary.  On the other critical question of timelimit for granting sanction,   the Court has observed some strong opinion – at best this could be construed as a reprieve through the back door and most Media interprets it as indictment for PMO. Now, Swamy is in news again as a landmark decision on his filing documents to prosecute the MOH P Chidambaram is expected to be pronounced.  From the Janata Govt era in 1977, they have travelled to farthest polls in terms of ideology.  The verdict today is expected to be on key aspects of 2G scam including Chidambaram’s role in fixing spectrum price when he was FM in 2008.  if Court rules affirmative, then it could spell doom to Chidambaram at least to his Ministerial post immediately.  Swamy’s case is that Chidambaram is just as culpable as Raja, who completes one year in Tihar jail today.

Chidambaram clad in white has weathered many a storms including his mired election.  He is consummate survivor and has made political friends with foes even.  In not so immediate past, he once pleaded loss of memory on whether Gupta was his client in 1990s.  PMO for long stonewalled  Swamy’s letter seeking sanction from the PM for the prosecution  and what happens in Apex Court today could change the way of Indian politics in a big way !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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