The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the Centre was free to decide whether or not to investigate the charges against an Enforcement Directorate official leading the investigation in the 2G spectrum scam and the Aircel-Maxis case, which involves former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karthi Chidambaram.

Joint Director Rajeshwar Singh, who is accused of holding disproportionate assets, filed a criminal contempt plea in the top court last week after petitioner Rajneesh Kapur moved the court.

A vacation bench of Justices Arun Mishra and SK Kaul said the allegations levelled against Singh were serious and must to be looked into. It said no officer investigating the case should be “under any cloud” as the matter related to the scam was “highly sensitive”.

The Supreme Court also modified its earlier interim order granting protection to Singh against inquiry. “As a matter of fact, when there are allegations, whether right or wrong, against you [Singh], it has to be looked into,” PTI quoted the judges as saying. “The other issue is that you should not be victimised. The third point is whether it would be appropriate for you to investigate when you are under a cloud and under investigation.”

Singh has said that the plea against him is a “brazen attempt to delay completion of investigation of 2G spectrum and Aircel-Maxis case”. He said that the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Central Vigilance Commission had given him a clean chit in the case several years ago.

But, the Supreme Court said he could not be given a blanket clean chit. “Everybody is accountable,” the judges said. “You must be accountable for any action. We need to ensure that you are accountable. We don’t want to damage you or comment against you. There are very serious allegations against you.”

Subramanian Swamy says ‘elements in BJP’ sabotaging inquiries

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy alleged that “elements” in the Centre and his party were complicit with the Congress in sabotaging investigations in several corruption cases, including the National Herald scam and the Aircel-Maxis case, PTI reported.

Last week, Swamy urged the top court to make him a party in the Aircel-Maxis case, claiming that the petition against Singh was an attempt to delay the ongoing investigation. The BJP leader claimed that in a previous order the top court had directed authorities to complete their investigation within six months.