The 2G spectrum case on Saturday reached an important milestone with a Delhi court framing charges against all the 17 accused including former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and corporate honchos.
Special CBI judge O P Saini also ordered that trial in the case will commence from November 11 with all the accused refusing to plead guilty to various offences.
"You all committed an offence punishable under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) 468 and 471 (forgery) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 7 or in alternative Section 11 read with Section 12 and 13(2) read with 13 (1b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and within my cognisance," the judge said in his 700-page order.
Following is the chronology of the events related to the 2G spectrum allocation scam case in which Raja is the main accused:
May, 2007: A Raja takes over as Telecom Minister.
Aug, 2007: Process of allotment of 2G spectrum for telecom along with Universal Access Service (UAS) Licences initiated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Sept 25, 2007: Telecom Ministry issues press note fixing deadline for application as October 1, 2007.
Oct 1, 2007: DoT receives 575 applications for UAS licences of 46 companies.
Nov 2, 2007: The Prime Minister writes to Raja directing him to ensure allotment of 2G spectrum in a fair and transparent manner and to ensure that licence fee was properly revised. Raja writes back to the Prime Minister rejecting many of his recommendations.
Nov 22, 2007: Finance Ministry writes to DoT raising concerns over the procedure adopted by it. Demand for review rejected.
Jan 10, 2008: DoT decides to issue licences on first-come-first-serve basis, preponing the cut-off date to September 25, from October 1, 2007. Later on the same day, DoT posted an announcement on its website saying those who apply between 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm would be issued licences in accordance with the said policy.
2008: Swan Telecom, Unitech and Tata Teleservices sell off a part of their stakes at much higher rates to Etisalat, Telenor and DoCoMo, respectively.
May 4, 2009: An NGO Telecom Watchdog files complaint to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on the illegalities in the spectrum allocation to Loop Telecom.
May 19, 2009: Another complaint was filed to the CVC by Arun Agarwal, highlighting grant of spectrum to Swan Telecom at throwaway prices.
2009: CVC directs CBI to investigate the irregularities in allocation of 2G spectrum.
July 1, 2009: Delhi HC holds advancing of cut-off date as illegal on a petition of telecom company S-Tel.
Oct 21, 2009: CBI registers a case and files an FIR against "unknown officers of DoT and unknown private persons/ companies under various provisions of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.
Oct 22, 2009: CBI raids DoT offices.
Nov 16, 2009: CBI seeks details of tapped conversation of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia to find out involvement of middlemen in the grant of spectrum to telecom companies.
Mar 31, 2010: CAG says that there was large scale irregularities in the spectrum allocation.
Apr 2, 2010: CBI DIG Vineet Agarwal and DG I-T Milap Jain, who were investigating the case, transferred.
May 6, 2010: Telephonic conversation between Raja and Niira Radia made public by the media.
May, 2010: NGO Centre for Public Interest litigation moves the Delhi High Court seeking investigation into the scam by SIT or CBI.
May 25, 2010: Delhi HC dismisses the petition.
Aug, 2010: Appeal filed in the Supreme Court against the High Court's order.
Aug 18, 2010: HC refuses to direct the Prime Minister to decide on a complaint by Janata Party chief Swamy seeking sanction to prosecute Raja for his involvement in 2G scam.
Sept 13, 2010: SC asks government, Raja to reply within 10 days to three petitions filed by CPIL and others alleging there was a Rs 70,000 crore scam in the grant of telecom licences in 2008.
Sept 24, 2010: Swamy moves SC seeking direction to the PM to sanction prosecution of Raja.
Sept 27, 2010: Enforcement Directorate informs SC of probe against firms suspected to have violated FEMA. Says can't deny or confirm now Raja's involvement in the scam.
Oct 8, 2010: SC asks government to respond to CAG report about the scam.
Oct 21, 2010: Draft reports of CAG placed before the Supreme Court.
Oct 29, 2010: SC pulls up CBI for its tardy progress in the investigations into the scam.
Nov 10, 2010: CAG submits report on 2G spectrum to government stating loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to exchequer.
Nov 11, 2010: DoT files affidavit in SC saying CAG did not have the authority to question the policy decision as per which licence were issued to new players in 2008.
Nov 14, 2010: Raja resigns as Telecom Minister
Nov 15, 2010: Kapil Sibal given additional charge of Telecom Ministry.
Nov 20, 2010: Affidavit on behalf of PM filed in Supreme Court. Rejects charge of inaction on Swamy's complaint.
Nov 22, 2010: CBI tells SC it will file charge sheet in the case within three months.
Nov 22, 2010: CBI tells SC role of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia would be questioned by it.
Nov 24, 2010: SC reserves verdict on Swamy's plea seeking direction to PM for grant of sanction to prosecute Raja.
Nov 25, 2010: SC ticks off CBI for not questioning Raja.
Nov 29, 2010: CBI files status report on 2G spectrum scam probe.
Nov 30, 2010: SC questions CVC P J Thomas's moral right to supervise CBI's probe into 2G spectrum scam as he himself was Telecom Secretary at that point of time.
Dec 1, 2010: SC directs original tapes containing conversation between corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and others be handed over to it.
Dec 1, 2010: Raja questions CAG findings in the SC.
Dec 2, 2010: Government places recorded tapes in the SC.
Dec 2, 2010: SC comes down heavily on Raja for bypassing and overruling PM's advice to defer allocation of 2G spectrum by a few days.
Dec 8, 2010: SC favours including in the probe period since 2001 when first-come-first-serve was the norm for spectrum allocation.
Dec 8, 2010: SC asks Centre to consider setting up of a special court to try 2G spectrum scam case.
Dec 8, 2010: ED submits report. Says money trail covers 10 countries, including Mauritius.
Dec 14, 2010: Another PIL in SC seeking cancellation of new telecom licences and 2G spectrum allocated during Raja's tenure.
Dec 15, 2010: Swamy files petition in a Delhi court seeking his inclusion as a public prosecutor in 2G spectrum case.
Dec 15, 2010: Swamy mentions in complaint that Raja favoured "ineligible" private companies Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd and Unitech Wireless Ltd in allocating the spectrum.
Jan 4, 2011: Swamy moves SC seeking cancellation of 2G spectrum licences.
Jan 10, 2011: Supreme Court issues notice to Centre on the plea seeking cancellation of 2G licenses. Also issues notices to 11 companies which allegedly did not fulfill the roll-out obligations or were ineligible.
Jan 30, 2011: Government's decision to regularise licences of the companies which failed to meet the deadline for roll-out obligation challenged in the Supreme Court.
Feb 2, 2011: Raja, former Telecom Secretary Siddartha Behura and Raja's former Personal Secretary R K Chandolia arrested and next day they were remanded in CBI custody.
Feb 8, 2011: Raja remanded to two more days of CBI custody. Behura and Chandolia sent to judicial custody.
Feb 8, 2011: Shahid Usman Balwa, promoter of Swan Telecom, arrested by CBI.
Feb 10, 2011: SC asks the CBI to bring under its scanner corporate houses which were beneficiaries of the 2G spectrum. Raja remanded to CBI custody for four more days by a special CBI court along with Balwa.
Feb 14, 2011: Raja's CBI custody extended for three more days. Balwa's custody extended for four days.
Feb 17, 2011: Raja sent to Tihar Jail under judicial custody.
Feb 18, 2011: Balwa sent to judicial custody.
Feb 24, 2011: CBI tells a Delhi court that Balwa facilitated transaction to Kalaignar TV.
Feb 28, 2011: Raja seeks judicial proceedings through video conferencing stating that he faces threat to life from
Mar 1, 2011: CBI tells SC that 63 persons are under scanner. Raja allowed by CBI court to appear before it via
Mar 14, 2011: The Delhi High Court sets up special court to deal exclusively with 2G cases. Balwa also allowed to
appear via video-conferencing.
Mar 29, 2011: SC permits CBI to file charge sheet on April 2 instead of March 31. Two more persons -- Asif Balwa
and Rajeev Agarwal -- arrested.
Apr 2, 2011: The CBI files its first charge sheet in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
Apr 25, 2011: CBI files second charge sheet and court issues summons to Kanimozhi, Sharad Kumar and Karim Morani
taking congizance of the charge sheet.
May 6, 2011: Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar appears before court and files bail pleas while Morani sought exemption from
appearance on medical ground.
May 7, 2011: Court reserves order on Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar's bail applications.
May 14, 2011: Court defers order on their bail pleas for May 20.
May 20, 2011: Court rejects bail pleas of Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar and orders their forthwith arrest.
June 20, 2011: SC rejects Kanimozhi's bail plea
July 25, 2011: Arguments on Charge begins. Raja seeks to make Prime Minister and former finance minister P Chidambaram
Sept 22, 2011: CBI defends Chidambaram in SC, blames DoT for all wrongs.
Sept 26, 2011: CBI moves plea for framing fresh charge for criminal breach of trust against Raja, Chandolia and
Sept 29, 2011: CBI says role of Anil Ambani being probed, gives a virtual clean chit to Tata and Videocon group.
Oct 9, 2011: CBI files FIR against Maran and his brother.
Oct 22, 2011: Court finds prima facie evidence to put on trial all 17 accused including Raja on various counts like criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, cheating and forgery.