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2G Spectrum case.=whether two orders passed by this Court on 11.04.2011 and 09.11.2012 in Civil Appeal No.10660 of 2010, in exercise of powers conferred on this Court under Articles 136 and 142 of the Constitution of India, while monitoring the investigation of 2G related cases, are liable to be recalled, de hors the rights guaranteed to the Petitioners to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court under Articles 32 and 136 of the Constitution of India, if aggrieved by the orders passed by the Special Court dealing with 2G Spectrum case.= No Court, other than the Court seized with the trial, has the power to monitor the proceedings pending before it. Order dated 11.4.2011 only facilitates the progress of the trial by ordering that the trial must proceed on a day-to-day basis. Large backlog of cases in the Courts is often an incentive to the litigants to misuse of Court’s system by indulging in unnecessary and fraudulent litigation, thereby delaying the entire trial process. Criminal justice system’s procedure guarantees and elaborateness sometimes give, create openings for abusive, dilatory tactics and confer unfair advantage on better heeled litigants to cause delay to their advantage. Longer the trial, witnesses will be unavailable, memories will fade and evidence will be stale. Taking into consideration all those aspects, this Court felt that it is in the larger public interest that the trial of 2G Scam be not hampered. Further, when larger public interest is involved, it is the bounden duty of all, including the accused persons, who are presumed to be innocent, until proven guilty, to co-operate with the progress of the trial. Early disposal of the trial is also to their advantage, so that their innocence could be proved, rather than remain enmeshed in criminal trial for years and unable to get on with their lives and business. 29. We fail to see how the principle laid down by this Court in A.R. Antulay’s case (supra) would apply to the facts of these cases. We have found no error in the orders passed by this Court on 11.04.2011 or on 09.04.2012. Therefore, the question of rectifying any error does not arise. On the other hand, as we have already indicated, the purpose and object of passing those orders was for a larger public interest and for speedy trial, that too on day-to-day basis which has been reflected not only in the various provisions of the PC Act, 1988 but also falls within the realm of judicial accountability. 30. We also find no reason to lay down any guidelines as prayed for by the petitioners in a Court monitored investigation. In a Court monitored investigation, as already pointed out the Court is not expected to interfere with the trial proceedings. The conduct of the trial is the business of the trial judge and not the court monitoring the investigation. A superior court exercising the appellate power or constitutional power, if gives a direction to conduct the trial on day-to-day basis or complete the trial in a specific time by giving direction is not interfering with the trial proceedings but only facilitating the speedy trial, which is a facet of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. That being the factual situation in these cases, the principle laid down by this Court in Rajiv Ranjan Singh “Lalan” VI and another v. Union of India and others (2006) 1 SCC 356, Brij Narain Singh v. Adya Prasad (2008) 11 SCC 558 and Ankul Chandra Pradhan (supra), are not applicable. 31. We, therefore, find no good reason either to frame guidelines to be followed by a constitutional court in relation to monitoring of criminal investigation or any legal infirmity in the orders passed by this Court on 11.04.2011 or 09.04.2012. Writ Petitions lack merits and they are accordingly dismissed, so also IA Nos.59, 61, 63 and 68 in Civil Appeal No.10660 of 2010.

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REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

WRIT PETITION (C) NO.548 OF 2012
Shahid Balwa …Petitioner

Versus

Union of India and others …Respondents

With

WRIT PETITION (C) NO.550, 551, 552 OF 2012, 17 of 2013,
and
I.A. Nos.59, 61, 63 and 68 IN
CIVIL APPEAL NO.10660 OF 2010

J U D G M E N T
K.S. Radhakrishnan, J.
1. We are, in these cases, called upon to examine the question whether
two orders passed by this Court on 11.04.2011 and 09.11.2012 in Civil
Appeal No.10660 of 2010, in exercise of powers conferred on this Court
under Articles 136 and 142 of the Constitution of India, while monitoring
the investigation of 2G related cases, are liable to be recalled, de hors
the rights guaranteed to the Petitioners to invoke the jurisdiction of this
Court under Articles 32 and 136 of the Constitution of India, if aggrieved
by the orders passed by the Special Court dealing with 2G Spectrum case.
2. Civil Appeal No.10660 of 2010, in which the above-mentioned orders
have been passed, was filed under Article 136 of the Constitution of India
by special leave, praying for a Court monitored investigation by the
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or by a Special Investigating Team
into what was described as the 2G Spectrum Scam and also for a direction to
investigate the role played by A. Raja, the then Union Minister for
Department of Telecommunications (DoT), senior officers of DoT, middlemen,
businessmen and others. Before this Court, it was pointed out that the CBI
had lodged a first information report on 21.10.2009 alleging that during
the years 2000-2008 certain officials of the DoT entered into a criminal
conspiracy with certain private companies and misused their official
position in the grant of Unified Access Licenses causing wrongful loss to
the nation, which was estimated to be more than Rs.22,000 crores. CBI,
following that, registered a case No.RC-DAI-2009-A-0045(2G Spectrum Case)
on 21.10.2009 under Section 120B IPC, 13(1)(d) of the PC Act against a
former Cabinet Minister and others.
3. Before this Court parties produced large number of documents,
including the Performance Audit Report (Draft and Final) prepared by the
Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on the issue of licence and
allocation of 2G Spectrum by DoT, Ministry of Communications and
Information and Technology for the period from 2003-2004 to 2009-2010.
Report of the CAG, was submitted to the President of India, as per Article
151 of the Constitution of India. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)
also conducted an inquiry under Section 8(d) of the Central Vigilance
Commission Act, 2003 and noticed grave irregularities in the grant of
licences. The CVC on 12.10.2009 had forwarded the enquiry report to the
Director, CBI to investigate into the matter to establish the criminal
conspiracy in the allocation of 2G Spectrum under UASL policy of DoT and to
bring to book all wrongdoers.
4. After taking into consideration of all those factors, including the
report of the CVC as well as the findings recorded by the CAG, this Court
agreed for a Court monitored investigation and held as follows:
“We are, prima facie, satisfied that the allegations contained in the
writ petition and the affidavits filed before this Court, which are
supported not only by the documents produced by them, but also the
report of the Central Vigilance Commission, which was forwarded to the
Director, CBI on 12.10.2009 and the findings recorded by the CAG in
the Performance Audit Report, need a thorough and impartial
investigation. However, at this stage, we do not consider it
necessary to appoint a Special Team to investigate what the appellants
have described as 2G Spectrum Scam because the Government of India
has, keeping in view the law laid down in Vineet Narain’s case and
others passed in other cases, agreed for a Court monitored
investigation.”
5. This Court, with a view to ensure a comprehensive and co-ordinated
investigation by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate, gave the
following directions vide its order dated 16.12.2010:
i) The CBI shall conduct thorough investigation into various
issues high-lighted in the report of the Central Vigilance
Commission, which was forwarded to the director, CBI vide
letter dated 12.10.2009 and the report of the CAG, who have
prima facie found serious irregularities in the grant of
licences to 122 applicants, majority of whom are said to be
ineligible, the blatant violation of the terms and conditions
of licences and huge loss to the public exchequer running
into several thousand crores. The CBI should also probe how
licences were granted to large number of ineligible
applicants and who was responsible for the same and why the
TRAI and the DoT did not take action against those licensees
who sold their stake/equities for many thousand crores and
also against those who failed to fulfill rollout obligations
and comply with other conditions of licence.
ii) The CBI shall conduct the investigation without being
influenced by any functionary, agency or instrumentality of
the State and irrespective of the position, rank or status of
the person to be investigated/probed.
iii) The CBI shall, if it has already not registered first
information report in the context of the alleged
irregularities committed in the grant of licences from 2001
to 2006-2007, now register a case and conduct thorough
investigation with particular emphasis on the loss caused to
the public exchequer and corresponding gain to the
licensees/service providers and also on the issue of allowing
use of dual/alternate technology by some service providers
even before the decision was made public vide press release
dated 19.10.2007.
iv) The CBI shall also make investigation into the allegation
of grant of huge loans by the public sector and other banks
to some of the companies which have succeeded in obtaining
licences in 2008 and find out whether the officers of the DoT
were signatories to the loan agreement executed by the
private companies and if so, why and with whose permission
they did so.
v) The Directorate of Enforcement/ concerned agencies of the
Income Tax Department shall continue their investigation
without any hindrance or interference by any one.
vi) Both the agencies, i.e. the CBI and the Directorate of
Enforcement shall share information with each other and
ensure that the investigation is not hampered in any manner
whatsoever.
vii) The Director General, Income Tax (Investigation) shall,
after completion of analysis of the transcripts of the
recording made pursuant to the approval accorded by the Home
Secretary, Government of India, hand over the same to CBI to
facilitate further investigation into the FIR already
registered or which may be registered hereinafter.”

6. CBI and the Enforcement Directorate then used to apprise this Court
of the various stages of investigation and this Court, on 10.02.2011,
passed an order stating that since this Court is monitoring the
investigation of 2G Spectrum Scam no court shall pass any order which may,
in any manner, impede the investigation being carried out by the CBI and
the Directorate of Enforcement.
7. Learned Attorney General of India, it was pointed out, had written to
the Law Minister on the issue of creation of separate Special Court for
dealing with the cases relating to 2G Scam and, for the said purpose, the
Law Minister, in turn, had written to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High
Court seeking nomination of a Special Court for the said purpose. Learned
Attorney General submitted before this Court on 16.03.2011 that the
Registrar General of the High Court of Delhi had conveyed its decision to
nominate Shri O.P. Saini, an officer of the Delhi Higher Judicial Service,
as the Special Judge to take up the trial of cases relating to what has
been described as 2G Scam. The Court was also informed that two separate
notifications would be issued by the Central Government in terms of Section
3(1) the PC Act, 1988 and Section 43(1) of the Prevention of Money
Laundering Act, 2002 for establishment of the Special Court to exclusively
try the offences relating to 2G Scam and other related offences. Following
that, two notifications dated 28.03.2011 were published in the Gazette of
India Extraordinary on Monday, the 28th March, 2011.
8. The CBI submitted before this Court on 01.04.2011 that a notification
had been issued under Section 6 of the Delhi Police Establishment Act by
the State Government for entrusting the case relating to death of Sadiq
Batcha to the CBI and the CBI had indicated that it had no objection to
take up the investigation. The CBI also submitted before this Court that a
Special Public Prosecutor had to be appointed to lead and supervise the
prosecution of the case relating to the 2G Scam for which the CBI had
suggested the name of Shri U.U. Lalit, senior advocate of this Court.
9. The CBI, after completion of the investigation in the main case,
noticed the commission of various other offences during 2007-09 punishable
under Sections 120-B, 420, 468, 471 of IPC against the accused persons,
namely, Shri A. Raja and others and the following substantive offences were
stated to have been made out against the following accused persons:
“a) Sh. A. Raja, then MOC&IT – the offence punishable u/s 420, 468,
471 IPC & 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) PC Act, 1988.
b) Sh. Siddartha Behura, then Secretary, Department of Telecom- the
offence punishable u/w 420 IPC & 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) PC Act, 1988.
c) Sh. R.K. Chandolia, then PS to MOC&IT- the offence punishable u/s
420 IPC & 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) PC Act.
d) Sh. Shahid Usman Balwa, Director, M/s Swan Telecom Pvt. Ltd.;
Sh. Vinod Goenka, Director, M/s Swan Telecom Pvt. Ltd. and M/s Swan
Telecom Pvt. Ltd. (now M/s Etisalat DB Telecom Pvt. Ltd) through its
Director – offences punishable u/s 420/468/471 IPC.
e) Sh. Sanjay Chandra, Managing Director, M/s Unitech Ltd. and M/s
Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt. Ltd. through its Director –offences
punishable u/s 420 IPC.
f) Sh. Gautam Doshi, Group Managing Director, Reliance ADA Group,
Sh. Hari Nair, Senior Vice President of Reliance ADA Group & Sh.
Surendra Pipara, Senior Vice President of Reliance ADA Group & M/s
Reliance Telecom Ltd. through its Director – offences punishable under
section 109 r/w 420 IPC.”
10. The CBI, on the basis of the investigation conducted, submitted a
charge-sheet against the above-mentioned persons/companies before a Special
Judge on 02.04.2011 and Special Judge took cognizance of the aforesaid
offences on the same day.

11. This Court undertook the monitoring of the investigation in view of
the prayers made by the appellants and the request made by the prosecution
agency and the Government of India, having regard to the larger public
interest involved and the necessity of a proper investigation and also with
the ultimate object of unearthing the crime.

12. Counsel appearing for the CBI suggested to this Court, on 11.4.2011,
the name of Shri U.U. Lalit, senior advocate, for the conduct of the
criminal prosecution in the case on behalf of the CBI as well as the
Directorate of Enforcement and the Court on that date inter alia ordered as
follows:
“We also make it clear that any objection about appointment of Special
Public Prosecutor or his assistant advocates or any prayer for staying
or impeding the progress of the Trial can be made only before this
Court and no other Court shall entertain the same. The trial must
proceed on a day-to-day basis.
All these directions are given by this Court in exercise of its power
under Article 136 read with Article 142 of the Constitution and in the
interest of holding a fair prosecution of the case.”
13. We found, in spite of the order passed by this Court on 11.04.2011
that no Court should entertain any prayer for staying or impeding the
progress of the trial, large number of writ petitions were seen filed
before the Delhi High Court praying for stay of the trial proceedings on
one or the other ground. The CBI noticing that entertaining of those cases
would violate the order passed by this Court on 11.04.2011, filed an
application before this Court for summoning the records of Writ Petition
(Criminal) No.1587 of 2012, Writ Petition (Criminal) No.1588 of 2012, Writ
Petition (Criminal) No.913 of 2012, Writ Petition (Criminal) No.111 of
2012, Writ Petition (Criminal) No.207 of 2012, Writ Petition (Criminal)
No.1478 of 2012, Writ Petition (Criminal) No.1751 of 2012, Writ Petition
(Criminal) No. 1752 of 2012, Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 1754 of 2012,
Writ Petition (Criminal) No.206 of 2012, Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 159
of 2012, Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 208 of 2012, Criminal M.C. No. 4197
of 2011, Criminal M.C. No.67 of 2012, Writ Petition (Criminal) No.129 of
2012, Writ Petition (Criminal) No.656 of 2012, Criminal M.C. No.4199 of
2011, Writ Petition (Criminal) No.467 of 2012 and Criminal M.C. No.1060 of
2012 pending before the Delhi High Court and also prayed for stay of all
the proceedings of these cases.
14. This Court felt entertaining those cases by the Delhi High Court, at
this stage, would violate the order passed by this Court on 11.4.2011,
passed an order on 09.11.2012 staying those proceedings pending before the
Delhi High Court.
15. Shri Ram Jethmalani, learned senior counsel, appearing for the
petitioner in Writ Petition (C) No.548 of 2012, prayed for recalling orders
dated 11.04.2011 and 09.11.2012 on the ground that those orders would
violate the rights guaranteed to the petitioners under Section 482 of the
Cr.P.C. and Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India for moving
the High Court. Learned senior counsel also submitted that remedy, if
at all, available under Article 32 is limited to safeguarding the rights
guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution while the remedies available
under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution have a wider scope, which
cannot be taken away by the impugned orders passed by this Court while
monitoring the 2G Scam.
16. Learned senior counsel also submitted that the impugned orders have
the effect of taking away the power of the Court in granting reasonable
adjournments under Section 309 of the Cr.P.C. and submitted neither sub-
section (4) of Section 4 nor Section 19(3) of the PC Act can take away that
right of the petitioners, but has been effectively curtailed by the
impugned orders passed by this Court. Learned senior counsel also
submitted that this Court exercising powers under Articles 136 and 142 of
the Constitution, has the power to only monitor the investigation and once
the investigation is over and charge-sheet has been filed, this Court
should leave the matter to the trial court safeguarding the rights of
parties in questioning the correctness or otherwise of the orders passed by
the trial Court in appropriate Forums. Reference was made to the decision
of this Court in Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalan’ (VIII) and Another v. Union of
India and others (2006) 6 SCC 613 and Vineet Narain and Others v. Union of
India and Another (1996) 2 SCC 199.
17. Shri Mukul Rohtagi, learned senior counsel, submitted that right to
fair trial is a right guaranteed to the parties under Articles 14 and 21 of
the Constitution of India and the impugned order has the effect of negating
those rights by shutting out all remedies available to the parties under
Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India to move the High Court.
Learned senior counsel placed reliance on the Judgment of this Court in
A.R. Antulay v. R.S. Nayak and another (1988) 2 SCC 602 and submitted that
in appropriate cases this Court has got the power to recall its earlier
order in the interest of justice, if it is satisfied that its directions
will result in the deprivation of fundamental rights guaranteed to the
citizens or any other legal rights. Placing reliance on the Judgment of
this Court in L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India and others (1997) 3 SCC
261 and Shalini Shyam Shetty and another v. Rajendra Shankar Patil (2010) 8
SCC 600, learned senior counsel submitted that the rights conferred under
Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India are the basic structure
of the Constitution and the same cannot be taken away by exercising powers
under Article 136 and 142 of the Constitution of India.
18. Shri Harish Salve, learned senior counsel, submitted that the power
of the Court to monitor the criminal investigation should stop once the
charge-sheet has been filed, leaving the trial court to proceed with trial
in accordance with the law. In support of his contention reliance was
placed on the Judgment of this Court in Jakia Nasim Ahesan and another v.
State of Gujarat and others (2011) 12 SCC 302 and the Judgment in Ankul
Chandra Pradhan v. Union of India and others (1996) 6 SCC 354.
19. Shri K.K. Venugopal, learned senior counsel appearing for the CBI,
submitted that there are no justifiable reasons for recalling the impugned
orders since those orders had been passed in the larger public interest and
that too based on the request made by the Government of India virtually
inviting this Court’s intervention for monitoring the investigation
relating to 2G Scam. Learned senior counsel referred to the CAG report
as well as the report sent by the CVC to the CBI and submitted that those
reports would highlight the magnitude of loss suffered by the public
exchequer, which has been revealed by the investigation conducted by the
CBI. Learned senior counsel also submitted that this Court has undertaken
monitoring of the investigation due to the involvement of highly placed
officers of DoT and the then Union Minister for Telecommunications, Members
of Parliament, bureaucrats and businessmen.
20. Learned senior counsel also submitted that this Court, while issuing
the orders dated 11.04.2011 or 09.11.2012, has neither interfered with the
proceedings pending before the Special Court, nor attempted to supervise or
investigate the trial proceedings. On the other hand, this Court only
ensured that the progress of the trial be not impeded and the trial should
go on day-to-day basis. Learned senior counsel also submitted that this
Court has reserved its powers to entertain any challenge against the orders
passed by the Special Judge under Articles 136, 32 as well as Article 142
of the Constitution and hence, no prejudice is caused to the petitioners.

21. We may, at the very outset, point out that CBI as well as the
Enforcement Directorate is yet to complete the investigation of the cases
relating to 2G Scam and the case which is being tried by the Special Judge
is only one among them, wherein the charge-sheet has been filed and the
trial is in progress. This Court, taking into consideration the width and
ambit of the investigation which even spreads overseas and the larger
public interest involved, passed the orders impugned, reserving the right
of all, including the accused persons, to move this Court if their prayer
would amount to staying or impeding the progress of the trial. In case
they have any grievance against the orders passed by the Special Judge
during trial, they are free to approach this Court so that the progress of
the trial would not be hampered by indulging in cumbersome and time
consuming proceedings in the other Forums, thereby stultifying the
preemptory direction given by this Court for day-to-day trial.

22. Article 136 read with Article 142 of the Constitution of India
enables this Court to pass such orders, which are necessary for doing
complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it and, any order so
made, shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India. Parties, in
such a case, cannot invoke the jurisdiction under Articles 226 or 227 of
the Constitution of India or under Section 482 Cr.P.C. so as to interfere
with those orders passed by this Court, in exercise of its constitutional
powers conferred under Article 136 read with Article 142 of the
Constitution of India. Or, else, the parties will move Courts inferior to
this Court under Article 226 or Article 227 of the Constitution of India or
Section 482 Cr.P.C., so as to defeat the very purpose and object of the
various orders passed by this Court in exercise of its powers conferred
under Article 136 read with Article 142 of the Constitution of India.

PUBLIC INTEREST:
23. Public Interest compelled this Court to take up the investigation in
2G related cases in exercise of its powers under Article 136 read with
Article 142, that too, on a request made by the Central Government. CAG is
stated to be the most important Officer under the Constitution of India and
his duty, being the guardian of the public Purse, is to see that not a
farthing of it is spent without the authority of the Parliament. Article
149 of the Constitution of India empowers the CAG to perform such duties
and exercise such powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and the
State and Audit plays an important role in the scheme of Parliamentary
Financial Control and it is also directed towards discovering waste,
extravagance and disallow any expenditure violating the Constitution, or
any Law. CAG, in its report submitted to the President of India under
Article 151 of the Constitution of India, has commented upon the manner in
which the Unified Access Licences were granted and projected that it caused
wrongful loss to the Government to the tune of Rs.1.76 lac crore. Of
course, some acrimony had erupted between the Central Government and the
CAG’s estimate of loss, but it is reported to be substantial. CVC also
conducted an enquiry under Section 8(d) of the Central Vigilance Act, 2003
and noticed grave irregularities in the grant of licences. CVC, on
12.10.2009, had forwarded the enquiry report to that effect to the
Directorate of CBI.

24. The nation and the people of this country are seriously concerned
with the outcome of cases involving larger public interest, like one
concerning 2G and this Court, as the guardian of the Constitution, has got
the duty and obligation to see that the larger public interest and the
interest of the nation is preserved and protected. When larger public
interest is involved, it is the responsibility of the Constitutional Court
to assure judicial legitimacy and accountability. Public interest demands
timely resolution of cases relating to 2G Scam. Prolonged litigation
undermines the public confidence and weakens the democracy and rule of law.
25. The Parliament, in its wisdom, has also noticed the necessity of
early disposal of cases relating to bribery and corruption. Section 4(4)
of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 reflects the will of the
Parliament that a Special Judge shall hold the trial of an offence on day-
to-day basis, notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal
Procedure. Section 19(3)(c) also states that, notwithstanding anything
contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, no Court shall stay the
proceedings under the Prevention of Corruption Act on any other ground and
no Court shall exercise the powers of the revision in relation to any
interlocutory order passed in any inquiry, trial, appeal or other
proceedings. Statutory provisions highlight the imperative need to
eradicate the evils of bribery and corruption. Larger public interest
should have precedence over the prayers of the petitioners, especially when
this Court has safeguarded their rights and given freedom to them to move
this Court, either under Article 136 or Article 32 of the Constitution of
India. Article 139A also reflects the larger public interest, which
enables this Court to transfer certain cases which involve substantial
questions of law, from one High Court to another or to this Court, in such
an event, it cannot be contended that the parties are deprived of their
rights to adjudicate their grievances under Articles 226, 227 or Section
482 Cr.P.C., before the High Court.

COURT MONITORED INVESTIGATION

26. Monitoring of criminal investigation is the function of investigating
agency and not that of the Court – either of the superior Court or of the
trial Court. But unsolved crimes, unsuccessful prosecution, unpunished
offenders and wrongful convictions bring our criminal justice system in
disrepute. Crores and crores of tax payers’ money is being spent for
investigating crimes in our country since every such incident is a crime
against the society. When the persons involved in the crime wield political
power and influence, the possibility of putting pressure on the
investigating agency, which is no more independent in our country, is much
more. Common people will be left with the feeling that they can get away
with any crime which tarnish the image not only of the investigating agency
but judicial system as well. Once investigation fails, Court will face
with a fait accompli. Proper and uninfluenced investigation is necessary to
bring about the truth. Truth will be a casualty if investigation is
derailed due to external pressure and guilty gets away from the clutches of
law.
27. More and more demands are now coming before the Courts for its
monitoring of investigation relating to crimes committed by influential
persons and persons who have political influence, with the apprehension
that they could derail the investigation. Courts in public interest
sometime have to take such a course in the larger public interest. That
burden this Court has discharged in various cases like Vineet Narayan’s
case and Gujarat Communal Riot’s case, etc. This Court has taken the
consistent view that once charge-sheet is submitted in the proper Court,
the process of Court monitoring investigation comes to an end and it is for
that Court to take cognizance of the offence and deal with the matter.
But, so far as the present case is concerned, we have already indicated
that charge-sheet has been filed only in one among the various 2G related
cases. This Court, while passing the impugned order, only directed speedy
trial and, that too, on a day-to-day basis which cannot be termed as
interference with the trial proceedings.

28. We also, therefore, find no basis in the contention of the
petitioners that the orders dated 11.4.2011 and 9.11.2012 have the effect
of monitoring the trial proceedings. No Court, other than the Court seized
with the trial, has the power to monitor the proceedings pending before it.
Order dated 11.4.2011 only facilitates the progress of the trial by
ordering that the trial must proceed on a day-to-day basis. Large backlog
of cases in the Courts is often an incentive to the litigants to misuse of
Court’s system by indulging in unnecessary and fraudulent litigation,
thereby delaying the entire trial process. Criminal justice system’s
procedure guarantees and elaborateness sometimes give, create openings for
abusive, dilatory tactics and confer unfair advantage on better heeled
litigants to cause delay to their advantage. Longer the trial, witnesses
will be unavailable, memories will fade and evidence will be stale.
Taking into consideration all those aspects, this Court felt that it is in
the larger public interest that the trial of 2G Scam be not hampered.
Further, when larger public interest is involved, it is the bounden duty of
all, including the accused persons, who are presumed to be innocent, until
proven guilty, to co-operate with the progress of the trial. Early
disposal of the trial is also to their advantage, so that their innocence
could be proved, rather than remain enmeshed in criminal trial for years
and unable to get on with their lives and business.
29. We fail to see how the principle laid down by this Court in A.R.
Antulay’s case (supra) would apply to the facts of these cases. We have
found no error in the orders passed by this Court on 11.04.2011 or on
09.04.2012. Therefore, the question of rectifying any error does not
arise. On the other hand, as we have already indicated, the purpose and
object of passing those orders was for a larger public interest and for
speedy trial, that too on day-to-day basis which has been reflected not
only in the various provisions of the PC Act, 1988 but also falls within
the realm of judicial accountability.
30. We also find no reason to lay down any guidelines as prayed for by
the petitioners in a Court monitored investigation. In a Court monitored
investigation, as already pointed out the Court is not expected to
interfere with the trial proceedings. The conduct of the trial is the
business of the trial judge and not the court monitoring the investigation.
A superior court exercising the appellate power or constitutional power,
if gives a direction to conduct the trial on day-to-day basis or complete
the trial in a specific time by giving direction is not interfering with
the trial proceedings but only facilitating the speedy trial, which is a
facet of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. That being the factual
situation in these cases, the principle laid down by this Court in Rajiv
Ranjan Singh “Lalan” VI and another v. Union of India and others (2006) 1
SCC 356, Brij Narain Singh v. Adya Prasad (2008) 11 SCC 558 and Ankul
Chandra Pradhan (supra), are not applicable.

31. We, therefore, find no good reason either to frame guidelines to be
followed by a constitutional court in relation to monitoring of criminal
investigation or any legal infirmity in the orders passed by this Court on
11.04.2011 or 09.04.2012. Writ Petitions lack merits and they are
accordingly dismissed, so also IA Nos.59, 61, 63 and 68 in Civil Appeal
No.10660 of 2010.
…………………………J.
(G.S. Singhvi)
…………………………J.
(K.S. Radhakrishnan)
New Delhi,
September 3, 2013

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