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Govt Issues New Notification, Tushar Mehta Replaces Anand Grover in 2G Case for Appeals

The new notification has come 10 days after Mehta was appointed as the SPP through another notification by the DoPT. But this notification was not clear whether Grover has been replaced by Mehta or if both will be arguing at the appellate stage in the Delhi HC, given the fact that the trial has resulted into acquittal of all the accused in the 2G case and an appeal is being readied.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:February 20, 2018, 8:29 AM IST
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Govt Issues New Notification, Tushar Mehta Replaces Anand Grover in 2G Case for Appeals
All accused, including former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, stand acquitted after the trial court verdict (File photos)

New Delhi: The Central government has issued a new notification, implying that Anand Grover has been replaced by Tushar Mehta as the special public prosecutor (SPP) for arguing the appeal in the 2G spectrum allocation scam cases.

All accused, including former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, stand acquitted after the trial court verdict.

The new notification, issued on Monday, amends the November 2014 notification, and changes the terms of appointment of senior advocate Anand Grover as SPP.

While Grover was initially appointed to argue on behalf of CBI and Enforcement Directorate not only for trial but also for appeals and revisions arising out of 2G cases, the notification issued a day ago maintains that Grover's appointment was only for cases at the trial stage.

"For the words 'appeals/revisions or other proceedings arising out of the cases related to 2G Spectrum investigated by the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) in the Court of Special Judge (2G Spectrum cases), Central Bureau of Investigation, New Delhi and appellate/revisional Courts', the words "arising out of the cases related to 2G Spectrum investigated by the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) in the Court of Special Judge (2G Spectrum cases), Central Bureau of Investigation, New Delhi shall be substituted," stated the new notification.

The substitution of the words has clearly removed Grover's role as SPP beyond the trial stage, thus making it unequivocal that Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta will be the agency's lawyer in the Delhi High Court and also in the Supreme Court, as and when the matter reaches there.

The new notification has come 10 days after Mehta was appointed as the SPP through another notification by the DoPT. But this notification was not clear whether Grover has been replaced by Mehta or if both will be arguing at the appellate stage in the Delhi HC, given the fact that the trial has resulted into acquittal of all the accused in the 2G case and an appeal is being readied.

The two senior lawyers had then maintained that they were not certain about the terms of the new notification and would not want to comment on it.

However, the new notification has made it clear that Grover has been replaced by Mehta for all appeals and revisions after the culmination of the trial.

Notably, since Grover was appointed as the SPP under the order of the Supreme Court, the action of the government in amending a three-year-old notification will definitely come under scanner of the top court.

Centre for Public Interest Litigation, one of the petitioners before the apex court in the 2G case, has already filed a contempt plea, challenging Mehta's appointment.

The petition has contended that the government cannot supercede the Supreme Court's order by appointing a new SPP, and that this disobedience amounts to contempt. The plea has not come up for hearing so far.

According to the sources, the government is likely to tell the top court that there appeared to be no bar to appoint a new SPP after the trial was over since the Court's direction was limited to the stage of trial.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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