New Delhi, Dec 21: A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Thursday acquitted all 17 accused including former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi in all cases linked to the 2G spectrum allocation scam which rocked the nation during the previous UPA government led by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
In a single line verdict Judge OP Saini said that the prosecution has failed to prove charges against the accused. OP Saini had been been hearing two separate cases related to 2G spectrum allocation and concluded final arguments on April 26 this year. All the accused, who are currently out on bail, were asked to be present in the court for the verdict.
Here’s All You Need to Know about 2G Scam:
* Believed to the biggest scam in the history of Independent India, the scam, linked to allocation of 2G spectrum to mobile service provider companies, caused a loss several crore rupees to the state exchequer.
* According to November 2010, report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Vinod Rai, the loss was pegged at a whopping Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
* In his report CAG Vinod Rai said underlined that the telecom ministry under A Raja changed various ruled and eligibility criteria to help a few of the telecom firms who applied for 2G spectrum. The cut-off date of the auction was advanced by the ministry.
* The CAG had said 2G licenses were issued to telecom operators at throwaway prices causing huge loss to the state exchequer. It said licences were issued to ineligible applicants who had deliberately suppressed facts, disclosed incomplete information, submitted fictitious documents and used fraudulent means to get access to spectrum.
* The then Telecom Minister A Raja of the DMK – a constituent of the ruling UPA – became the face of the scam amid allegations that he bent the rules of auction to benefit a few and selective telecom players. Among others accused of complicity in the scam are DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi and party supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal.
*According to the CBI, Raja was biased in allocating 2G mobile air waves and operating licences to telecom firms.
*The Enforcement Directorate has filed a separate case related to money laundering, alleging that a conspiracy was hatched by Raja, Kanimozhi, Ammal and others and that Rs 200 crore were the proceeds of the crime.
* While the quantum of loss was pegged at 1.76 lakh crore by CAG, the CBI in its 80,000 page chargesheet said the loss was of Rs 30,984 crore. Kapil Sibal, who replaced A Raja as telecom minister, however, claimed that there was zero loss. After special court’s verdict on Thursday, December 21, Sibal said he stands vindicated. “Have been saying all along that this was not a scam. It was a scam by Vinod Rai. We stand vindicated.”