2G spectrum judgment highlights: A Raja, Kanimozhi acquitted; Cong claims vindication, BJP says it’s no badge of honour
The verdict in the 2G spectrum scam case has been delivered by a special CBI court, acquitting all accused, including former telecom minister A Raja and DMK’s Kanimozhi.Updated: Dec 21, 2017 21:47 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A special court acquitted on Thursday all accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam cases, deciding the fate of former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi.
Special CBI judge O P Saini gave judgements in separate cases lodged by the CBI and the ED in the infamous scam that rocked the UPA government. Fifteen other accused in the case and three companies were also acquitted.
The scam relates to the granting of 2G spectrum licence allocations in 2007-08 that caused, according to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
Others acquitted in the case are former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra and three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) -- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair.
Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV director Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also acquitted in the case.
Besides them, three telecom firms -- Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd -- were also accused and acquitted in the case.
Here are the highlights:
6.16pm: A Raja, in a statement on Thursday, said he had brought about a “telecom revolution” in the country and the court judgment “vindicated” him. “Vested interests manipulated public perception by leveraging the media and sensationalising allegations. It has been repeatedly proven that the presumptive loss to the exchequer which formed the basis for the conspiracy theorists to run amok, was cooked-up (sic).”
6.15pm: “Court acquittal in 2G spectrum case validates rightfulness;my actions were for benefit of masses,” says former telecom minister A Raja.
5pm: “It is not a final verdict. It is a fit case for appeal,” says senior AIADMK leader D Jayakumar
4.55pm: “I have absolutely no hesitation in holding that the prosecution (CBI) has miserably failed to prove any charge against any of the accused, made in its well choreographed charge sheet,” say Special CBI judge OP Saini.
4.52pm: “The government does not want to comment anything on the court decision now. Investigating agencies will take further decision. The government will ponder on it after that. The Supreme Court had already given its verdict. 2G spectrum auction was arbitrary, faulty and corrupt,” says communications minister Manoj Sinha.
4.51pm: Senior Supreme Court judge Dushyant Dave: “It shows a botched-up investigation in the matter where the prosecution failed to prove the case...this verdict creates serious doubts on the investigating agencies especially premier agency like the CBI.”
4.05pm: “Those who raised the allegation of scam are now ruling the country. It is up to them to clarify,” says Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
3.38pm: “It has been derailed, but it can be put back on track again provided we have honest law officers and lawyers who don’t do ‘chamchagiri’ of ministers”: Subramanian Swamy
3.37pm: “This is not a setback at all, its an aberration as the law officers were not serious on fighting against corruption. So I hope the PM takes lesson from this.We must now fight corruption on war footing”: Subramanian Swamy
3.21pm: Congress is looking for excuses to cover up their fault. What does it have to say about the auctions which were done then? If Congress thinks this is a certificate to their corruption, then congratulations to them: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan
3.11pm: “For the last about seven years, on all working days, summer vacation included, I religiously sat in the open court from 10 am to 5 pm, awaiting for someone with some legally admissible evidence in his possession but all in vain,” says Special Judge OP Saini in his 1,552-page judgment.
3.02pm: “It wasn’t A Raja, but Pulok Chaterjee and TKA Nair (officials in the PMO) who misrepresented facts pertaining to telecom licences to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh”: Judgment
2.50pm: CBI will appeal against special court verdict in Delhi high court, says agency spokesperson Abhishek Dayal.
2.30pm: “Court has not appreciated evidence in 2G spectrum case in proper perspective: CBI spokesperson... CBI will be taking necessary legal remedies in the matter”: CBI spokesperson.
2.25pm: “After all this smear campaign and election jumlas, see what the court has said. People resort to unfounded allegations against rivals. There may be differences in the policies but it is not right to mount false accusations”: Congress’ Shashi Tharoor.
2.05pm: DMK’s A Raja reaches his residence in New Delhi amid celebrations by supporters.
1.18pm: Hussain Balwa, brother of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa who was acquitted today, says: “We are relieved of the huge tension we had... We knew that if there will be a fair trial it will give us the justice.”
1.17pm: Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra, acquitted today, says: “There was no wrong doing on my part or on the part of my companies. However, the damage suffered by me and the companies continues to affect the health and financial status of my company and they continue to pay the price for this case having been foisted on us fraudulently and without any basis.”
1.12pm: “The government should appeal in the high court against acquittal of all the accused,” says BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, one of the petitioners on whose plea a CBI probe was ordered in the 2G case.
1.05pm: It is a day to ask for answers from the BJP and all those who painted the UPA and the Congress as corrupt, says Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
12.59pm: BJP exposed for untruth, propaganda against Congress. PM, Jaitley and BJP should apologise to nation: Congress after 2G verdict
12.45pm: Key findings of the court:
--No material on record to show that A. Raja was mother lode of conspiracy... No evidence of his no -holds -barred immersion in any wrongdoing, conspiracy or corruption.
--Many facts recorded in the charge sheet are factually incorrect.
--Non-understanding of issues in proper perspective led to a suspicion of grave wrongdoing, where there was none.
12.43pm: The 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.
12.39pm: All 2G scam accused have been acquitted, but does this mean there were no irregularities? Read full story here
12.33pm: It is a big day for the DMK family. It is an answer to all the blame and the problems we faced. We are winning the RK Nagar bypoll, says DMK’s Kanimozhi.
12.31pm: I am sure that the investigative agencies will have a close look at it (the judgement and acquittal of accused) and decide what has to be done, says finance minister Arun Jaitley.
12.30pm: We are yet to receive the complete judgement. We will study it, take legal opinion and decide future action, says CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal.
12.28pm: Shares of companies affected by the case rose after the verdict, with Reliance Communications Ltd gaining as much as 13.3%, DB Realty jumping nearly 20% and SUN TV Networks Ltd rising as much as 6.8%.
12.26pm: The fact that the policy caused loss is clear form the fact that the subsequent auctions got a much higher price: Arun Jaitley
12.24pm: The acquittal of all the accused by the special court has brought happiness to us. The verdict further proves that there was no wrong done. All this has been proved: MK Stalin, DMK working president
12.20pm: Congress leaders are treating this judgement as some kind of a badge of honour and a certification that it was an honest policy: Arun Jaitley
12.17pm: “This was a corrupt and dishonest policy, which has already been upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012,” says Arun Jaitley.
12.06pm: “We are saying that the PM should come to the house and give a clarification. This government was formed on the basis that the UPA was embroiled in 2G and other scams, but now it has been proved that it was just a scam of lies by the opposition,” says Congress leader Kapil Sibal.
12.05pm: The Enforcement Directorate will appeal against the special court verdict on 2G spectrum allocation, according to agency sources.
12.04pm: Former PM Manmohan Singh says: “The court judgment has to be respected. I’m glad that the court has pronounced that the massive propaganda against UPA was without any foundation.”
11.51am: “We are relieved of the huge tension we had. What kept us going was that we knew all along that law of the land will be upheld. We knew that if there will be a fair trial it will give us the justice,” says Hussain Balwa, brother of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa.
11.50am: Special public prosecutor in the 2G scam case to give his opinion to CBI and ED on whether to appeal or not after reading the verdict.
11.42am: All acquitted in the case will have to furnish a bail bond of Rs 5 lakh each. This is done to ensure their presence in a higher appellate court if the verdict is challenged.
11.28am: “It was a false case. For the past two assembly elections, the case was used against us, now it has been proven to be wrong,” says RS Bharathi, DMK leader.
11.23am: “Clearly, the court found that innocent people have been wronged. Justice has worked as it is supposed to work in our country,” says Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.
11.19am: “We are waiting for copy of the judgement. We will take legal opinion on it after that,” says CBI.
11.12am: “Victory begins now. With political motives this case was put in us. Conspiracies were hatched against us but all have been blown away now,” says: Durai Murugan, senior DMK leader.
11.10am: DMK supporters marching and celebrating outside Patiala House Court after the court’s verdict in 2G scam case.
11.09am: “Allegation of a major scam involving the highest levels of government was never true, was not correct and that has been established today,” says Congress leader P Chidambaram.
11.08am: “It’s a new innings, our stand is vindicated,” says Hari Nair.
11.07am: “I am very happy. Will read the judgment once the news sinks in. Definitely a vindication of our stand. It’s a turning point for us,” says Prashant Ruia.
11.06am: “It’s a huge victory for us. Sanjay will finally transact his business in normal course,” says wife of Sanjay Chandra.
11.05am: “I would love to thank everyone who stood by me,” says Kanimozhi.
11.03am: In the first case filed by the CBI, Raja and Kanimozhi were facing trial along with former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra and three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) -- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair. All these people have been acquitted.
11.02am: One of the cases in which the judgment has been delivered involves Essar Group promoters Ravi Kant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf. All these accused have been acquitted.
10.55am: Acquitting all the accused, special court judge OP Saini said: “I have no hesitation in saying that public prosecutor miserably failed to prove their case. I hereby acquit all.”
10.49am: The court says the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the case against all accused.
10.45am: All accused are acquitted in the case.
10.03am: Former telecom minister A Raja and Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK chief M Karunanidhi and Rajya Sabha MP, have arrived at the Patiala House Court ahead of the 2G scam verdict.
First Published: Dec 21, 2017 10:04 IST