2G case: CBI court adjourns hearing of final arguments till July 27

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New Delhi | Published: June 1, 2015 9:39:08 PM

A special CBI court on Monday adjourned the hearing of final arguments of the 2G money laundering case involving former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP and 17 others till July 27.

A special CBI court on Monday adjourned the hearing of final arguments of the 2G money laundering case involving former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP and 17 others till July 27.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini had on April 17 fixed the date for commencement of final arguments in the case for today.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had on April 25 named 19 accused, including nine firms, in its charge sheet under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Raja and others could face a maximum sentence of up to seven years if convicted of the charges filed against them. This is the second case related to the 2G spectrum allocation scam in which Raja, Kanimozhi and others are facing trial for their alleged involvement.

The 2G spectrum scam was a telecommunications scam allegedly involving both politicians and government officials. It involved undercharging mobile telephone companies for frequency allocation licenses, which they then used to create 2G spectrum subscriptions for cell phones.

The difference between the money collected and that mandated to be collected was notionally estimated by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India at Rs.1766.45 billion or USD 28 billion, based on 2010 3G and BWA spectrum-auction prices.

In a charge sheet filed on April 2, 2011 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI, the investigating agency), the notional loss to the national exchequer was pegged at Rs.309845.5 million or USD 4.9 billion.

In a August 19, 2011 reply to the CBI, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said the government had gained over Rs.30 billion or USD 480 million by selling 2G spectrum.

Then Minister of Communications and IT Kapil Sibal said in a 2011 press conference that “zero loss” was incurred by distributing 2G licenses on a first-come-first-served basis.

On February 2, 2012, the Supreme Court of India ruled on a public interest litigation (PIL) related to the 2G spectrum scam. The court declared the allotment of spectrum “unconstitutional and arbitrary”, and cancelled the 122 licenses issued in 2008 under A. Raja when he was the Minister of Communications and IT from 2007 to 2009), the primary official accused.

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