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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Tears and joy as special CBI court gives 2G scam judgment

Special CBI judge acquits all accused in 2G spectrum allocation case, says there is no evidence against them.

india Updated: Dec 21, 2017 16:54 IST
Suchetana Ray and Snehal Tripathi
Suchetana Ray and Snehal Tripathi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
DMK MP Kanimozhi and her husband G Aravindan celebrate in Delhi after the politician  was acquitted by a special court in the 2G scam case in Delhi on December 21.
DMK MP Kanimozhi and her husband G Aravindan celebrate in Delhi after the politician was acquitted by a special court in the 2G scam case in Delhi on December 21. (PTI)

A trial spanning seven years, 155 witnesses, more than 80,000 pages of documents, high-profile accused and massive media attention: that was the 2G scam. And on Thursday, it was verdict time at the 2G special court in New Delhi.

Reporters began entering the court premises as early as 7am. Family members, relatives and supporters of the accused were the next to turn up.

In a couple of hours, the small area outside the main courtroom was filled to the brim. More than a hundred people jostled for space, their eyes glued to the door of the main courtroom, which was yet to open.

Security forces tried hard to control the crowd. Relatives of the accused, who had been waiting at the back of the crowd, yelled at reporters after failing to reach the front as journalists argued with the court staff to allow them entry.

Around 10am, former telecom minister A Raja and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK chief M Karunanidhi, finally arrived in the court. All those present, including journalists and counsels, took out their phones and began clicking pictures.

The door of the courtroom opened at about 10.30am. There was mad rush among the crowd but only half of them managed to get in. The remaining people had no choice but to wait outside.

The courtroom was so crowded that most missed the judge’s entry or his pronouncement. The frenzy started when shouts of “acquitted” was heard in the court.

Then came out a couple of counsels, showing victory signs. Family members began crying and hugging each other. As news spread, jubilant relatives and supporters began congratulating each other in their local languages.

An emotional A Raja walked out of the court and punched in the air. Holding tears back, he did not speak.

His wife followed, minutes later, crying and responding to congratulatory messages. They were joined by their supporters with hugs and loud cheers renting the air. Raja was lifted on the shoulders of one of the supporters. Five minutes later, the court occupants could hear the loud noise of firecrackers bursting in the background.

A teary-eyed Kanimozhi said, “I would love to thank everyone who stood by me”.

The visibly relieved Ruias left the courtroom with loud cheers from their family, friends and lawyers.

“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,” said Essar group director Prashant Ruia.

It has been a long ordeal for the three executives of Reliance Telecom and Sanjay Chandra, who spent over six months of 2011 in Tihar jail.

Sanjay Chandra’s wife Preeti was among the first to leave the courtroom after the verdict. A constant companion beside her husband for all these seven years of trial, Preeti was emotional.

“It’s a huge victory for us. Sanjay will finally transact his business in normal course,” she said.

First Published: Dec 21, 2017 16:53 IST

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