Wednesday, April 17, 2024
154,225FansLike
654,155FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe
Home Top News of the Day news A Raja, Kanimozhi, 16 others acquitted of all charges in 2G scam

A Raja, Kanimozhi, 16 others acquitted of all charges in 2G scam

0
A Raja, Kanimozhi, 16 others acquitted of all charges in 2G scam
DMK Kanimozhi (file pic) and A Raja (file picture). Photo: Anil Shakya

Photo: DMK Kanimozhi (file pic) and A Raja (file picture). Photo: Anil Shakya

In a verdict that is certain to trigger a major political turmoil, a special CBI court in Delhi acquitted former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and 16 others accused in the 2G spectrum scam case on Thursday (December 21).

The court of special CBI judge OP Saini found no evidence to link Raja, Kanimozhi and head honchos of major telecom companies with the alleged irregularities committed in the allocation of 2G spectrum during the UPA regime in 2008. Raja was the Union telecom minister in Dr Manmohan Singh’s government when the 2G spectrum was awarded while the DMK – of which Kanimozhi and Raja are important leaders – was part of the UPA coalition.

Chaotic scenes after the verdict at Patiala House Court
Chaotic scenes after the verdict at Patiala House Court

As the court acquitted Raja, Kanimozhi and others on Thursday morning, there were chaotic scenes at the Patiala House premises.

In brief statements to the media, Raja and Kanimozhi expressed a sense of vindication while the Congress party which had faced the heat of the then BJP-led Opposition’s onslaught in the 2G spectrum scam case back when it first broke also demanded an apology from former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai who had made the claim of the Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss in his report in 2010.

“Finally our innocence has been proven. I will not deliberately target anyone, but there was a conspiracy and a lot of people had a hand in this. It wasn’t easy. You are being accused of something you haven’t done and corruption charges are the worst. It means a lot for DMK because corruption has been used as a peg to slam our party,” Kanimozhi told reporters.

Senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal said: “My position and the (former) Prime Minister’s (Dr Manmohan Singh) position stands vindicated. It was a scam by Vinod Rai. Vinod Rai’s presumptive loss theory has been proved wrong.”

Raja had been forced to resign from the Manmohan Singh cabinet in November 2010 after a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) claimed that the “arbitrary” allocation of 2G spectrum and licenses by Raja in 2007-2008 had led to a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.

Subsequent investigations into the scam by agencies like the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had pointed to wide-ranging irregularities by Raja, DMK leaders Kanimozhi and Dayanidhi Maran and a host of head honchos of telecom companies not only in the spectrum allocation process but also in subsequent sale of the finite spectrum and licenses by some telecom companies to others, who reportedly paid a much higher price for buying the spectrum than what the original allottees had paid to the Centre.

On December 5, the special CBI court had reserved its verdict in the case.

* More details on what transpired in the courtroom on Thursday and of the verdict are awaited and will be updated shortly

—India Legal Bureau