Petition to question Minister and CBI officials in Delhi High Court
In the case of alleged masking of international calls as local ones by the Reliance Infocomm for between 2000-2002, a lawyer and an RTI applicant Mr. PC Srivastava, had filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He sought the reasons for not making Ambani brothers as accused in the case relating to the alleged manipulation and tampering of calling lines. It has been alleged that international calls were concealed and shown as local calls thereby causing huge loss to the government. The CBI refused to disclose information under Section 8(1)(h) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; of the RTI Act, claiming that disclosure of such information would provide clues to other accused in the case by which they would be able to argue why they too should not be charged.
In 2005, the Reliance Infocomm went to Anil Ambani as a part of deal between the two Ambani brothers and was renamed as Reliance Communications. The CBI started investigation the case in 2006 and filed a charge sheet in July 2010, before a Chennai court against the Reliance Infocomm officials Manoj Modi, Akhil Gupta, Shankar Adawal, Pankaj Powar, K R Raju and Bhagwan Das Khurana.
Following the refusal, Mr. Srivastava has now filed a petition in the Delhi High Court seeking an order for fixing a date for:
- Cross examination of the Minister for Personnel and Training before the court.
- Cross examination of the CBI officer who investigated the case and filed the affidavit in the court in the case.
The lawyer claimed that the agency is merely doing formality of investigations and implicating small offenders while malafidely saving the big offenders which is an abuse of process of the court. The Delhi High Court has issued a notice and has sought for the comments from the government.