Outrage as Raja, Kanimozhi acquitted in 2G case

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Dec 2017 09:12:34


By Udayan Kishor, Pawan K Singh & Abhishek Anshu,


Fifteen other accused in the telecom scam allowed to walk free

Prosecution ‘miserably failed’ to prove charges, says special court

“Justice has been delivered,” say A Raja and Kanimozhi

Kanimozhi also let off in another case of money laundering, says, no evidence against me

FORMER Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and
all other accused were on Thursday acquitted in the politically-sensitive 2G spectrum allocation scam cases by a special court which held that the prosecution “miserably failed” to prove the charges.
The acquittal of all the accused in the 2G case by a special court on Thursday triggered a major political slugfest between the BJP and Congress, followed by a nationwide sense of outrage.

Dissatisfied by the special court verdict, the Central Bureau of Agencies (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to appeal against 2G case verdict acquitting all accused CBI, on its part, said “We are yet to receive complete judgement. We will study it, take legal opinion and decide future action.” ED sources said that it will appeal against the special court verdict on 2G spectrum allocation.
They said the agency will study the order and will knock on the doors of the High Court armed with their evidence and investigation.

The fifteen other accused allowed to walk free include 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.

The CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of licences for the 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the top court on February 2, 2012.

Raja and Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, were also let off in another case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate under the money laundering law arising out of the 2G scam. DMK MP Kanimozhi and former Telecom Minister A Raja, two of the accused in the case, hailed the verdict and said justice has been delivered.

“There is no evidence against me and justice has been delivered,” Kanimozhi told mediapersons after the verdict was pronounced. Kanimozhi, Rajya Sabha MP and daughter of DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, was accused of conniving with former Telecom Minister A Raja and other co-accused in ‘parking’ of illegal gratification of Rs 200 crore in Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, of which she was a promoter.

In a statement on Thursday evening, Raja said the court acquittal showed that the presumptive loss in allocation of 2G spectrum was “cooked-up”. He also debunked the presumptive loss theories in the allocation.

Along with them, 16 others including Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka of STPL, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, film producer Karim Morani, P Amirtham and Sharad Kumar, Director of Kalaignar TV were also acquitted in the money laundering case.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini, also acquitted Essar Group promoters Ravi Kant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia and six others in a separate case arising out of the 2G scam probe.
Besides Ruias, Loop Telecom Promoters I P Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan and Vikash Saraf, one of the Essar Group Directors, Loop Telecom Ltd, Loop Mobile (India) Ltd and Essar Teleholdings Ltd were also acquitted.

Immediately after the pronouncement of the verdict, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who was one of the PIL petitioners on which the Supreme Court had ordered CBI probe into the scam, said, the Government should file appeals in the Delhi High Court against the acquittals of the accused.

Religiously sat for 7 yrs, no evidence came: Special CBI judge: SPECIAL CBI Judge O P Saini on Thursday rued that despite having “religiously” devoted seven years to 2G scam cases, no “legally admissible evidence” was placed before him by the CBI.
The judge made the remark in his verdict acquitting former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and several others, including top corporate honchos, in three separate cases probed by the CBI and the ED.

Vinod Rai, Oppn should apologise to the nation: Sibal: DEMANDING apology from former CAG Vinod Rai and Opposition, Congress MP and former Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said on Thursday that his stand on loss from 2G spectrum allocation stands vindicated.

“I have been saying from day one that there was no loss and I have been vindicated on Thursday. In fact it is Vinod Rai who must apologise to the nation.

“It is Opposition who must apologise to the nation,” Sibal told reporters. Former Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Rai had calculated that 2G spectrum allocation in 2008 -- under the UPA regime when Raja was the telecom minister -- led to notional loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer. “There was no case from the beginning. In fact, it was scam of lies, there was no scam on our part. We did it in accordance with policy prescription that we had,” Sibal said.