2G scam verdict: All 18 accused including A Raja acquitted, Congress seeks ex-CAG Vinod Rai's apology
BusinessToday.in December 21, 2017
A special CBI court on Thursday acquitted all 18 accused including A Raja and K Kanimozhi in 2G spectrum allocation case. The scam came to light almost seven years ago when the Comptroller and Auditor General or CAG in a report held then Telecom Minister A Raja responsible for causing the state exchequer a loss of Rs 1,76,379 crore by allocating 2G spectrum licenses at throwaway prices. But, today the court found that the prosecution failed to prove the charges. This verdict, however, doesn't override the Supreme Court judgement or take away from the fact that the licenses issued during 2G spectrum allocation were illegal.
The charge sheet of the instant case is based mainly on misreading, selective reading, non reading and out of context reading of the official record, Special Judge OP Saini said in his verdict. The charge sheet is based on some oral statements made by the witnesses during investigation, which the witnesses have not owned up in the witness box, Special Judge added.
Here's what Subramanian Swamy has to say:
On Kapil Sibal's zero loss theory, Subramanian said: "This isn't final verdict. Congress happiness is short-lived."
Special Judge OP Saini in his report said he could not understand what CBI wanted to prove: Subramanian Swamy
Former Attorney General is supporting the judgement. It wasn't appropriate to appoint Mukul Rohatgi as AG: Subramanian Swamy
Here's what Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said:
Even within the policy implementation, there was arbitrariness, cut off date was advanced. First Come First Serve policy was intended to help selected few and the favourite chosen few were informed in advance about the change of policy. The favourites had got bank draft prepared on the previous date before the spectrum allocation, said the Finance Minister
On basis of all this, in February 2012, the Supreme Court cancelled all licenses. Each case of spectrum allocation was squashed by the apex court as arbitrary and unfair. The policy was arbitrary and designed to promote corruption, said Arun Jaitley adding that we have to look at amounts collected by subsequent auctions.
The (UPA) policy was designed to promote corruption. It was implemented in an unfair manner, causing loss of revenue to the government. Auctioning was getting much higher price. I am sure investigating agencies and prosecuting agencies will look into it and decide what to do further in the matter. The Congress should not consider this as some kind of certificate of clean chit: Arun Jaitley.
What K Kanimozhi said:
We are all very happy that the justice has prevailed. It was a harrowing experience to be accused of something I have not done and being accused of corruption which I was not a part of. The whole party has suffered due to this. We feel finally a big weight has been lifted off.
The allegation was that I was Director of Kalaignar TV. I was a Director for 20 days before the launch of the channel. I wasn't present in any board meetings. CBI new all this. I had submitted my resignation in the ROC. There's more to it than meets the eye, Kanimozhi said.
What Former Telecom Minister A Raja said:
02:30 PM: Reports suggest the CBI will appeal against the acquittal of accused in 2G scam case.
12:30 AM: "Prosecution's main argument was on clause 8, it is a civil issue. It was never an issue of criminality, this is what court also held," says Mukul Rohatgi, former Attorney General: ANI
11:55 AM: Former PM Manmohan Singh said the 2G scam was a massive propaganda against the UPA without any proof.
11:45 AM: If the Government has concrete evidence, then they should take the matter to a higher court: Anna Hazare says.
11:30 AM: "Clearly the Court found that innocent people have been wronged. Justice has worked as it is supposed to work in our country," says Shashi Tharoor to ANI.
11:20 AM: Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari in a tweet asked the former CAG chief Vinod Rai to apologise to the nation. He said: "Mr VINOD RAI Former C&G must Apologise to the nation for throwing presumptive sensational Corrosive numbers into public discourse. He was author of imbecile 1.76 thousand crore loss theory that I had destroyed during my cross examination of Rai in JPC. Court has affirmed JPC Report."
11:15 AM: Like a good lawyer, I will comment only after reading the full verdict: A Raja.
11:09 AM: Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in a tweet said the government must prove its bonafides by filing an immediate appeal in the High Court.
11:05 AM: "One thing is clear that the allegations of a major scam involving highest levels of government was not true or correct," Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said after the acquittal of A Raja and Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum scam case.
11:00 AM: Senior Congress member Kapil Sibal said that the 2G scam verdict was a moral and legal victory for the UPA government. He says that they will ask those who raised allegations to apologise and that the PM too should stop raising this matter now.
10:55 AM: An elated Kanimozhi, outside the court, said, "I would love to thank everyone who stood by me."
9:30 AM: Former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi reach Patiala House court ahead of pronouncement of verdict in 2G scam cases.
In its report, which was tabled in Lok Sabha on November 16, 2010, the CAG said that A Raja ignored the advice of the Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Finance and allocated 'a scarce finite national asset at less than its true value on flexible criteria and procedures adopted to benefit a few operators'. The auditing agency further observed that politicians and government officials colluded with telecom companies to under-charge them for telecom spectrum allocated in 122 licences in 2008.