New Delhi: CPI(M) on Sunday sought a probe into alleged "dereliction" of duty by P Chidambaram by not taking steps to prevent the telecom scam as the then Finance Minister.
   
"It's severe dereliction of duty. The then Finance Minister was supposed to share the responsibility of fixing the price (of spectrum licences). How did he discharge that responsibility is not in public domain. That needs to be probed," CPI(M) leader Nilotpal Basu said here.
   
He was referring to the Finance Ministry's March 25, 2011 note which had suggested that Chidambaram could have prevented the scam by insisting on spectrum auction instead of first-come, first serve policy.
   
Basu said the judicial process in the trial court was limited only to the Subramanian Swamy's plea that Chidambaram should be made a co-accused in the case.
   
He said both the Supreme Court order cancelling 122 2G licences and the trial court's observation have confirmed that the policy aspect of the issue should be fully gone into.
   
Maintaining that a "protracted legal battle" would now follow with regard to Chidambaram's alleged involvement, Basu said the apex court's order had quoted the "government's own policy paper to say the then Finance Minister was jointly responsible for the pricing of spectrum".
   
There was "overwhelming evidence" that Chidambaram and the then Telecom Minister A Raja had "consulted each other" on the issue, he claimed.
   
The CPI(M) leader also said, "There is no evidence to show that the former Finance Minister disagreed or tried to stop" the move to go for a first-come, first-serve policy on granting spectrum licences.

(Agencies)