2G scam verdict: As Kanimozhi, A Raja walk free, court cites ‘lack of direct evidence’

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New Delhi | Published: December 22, 2017 5:30:08 AM

While acquitting all the accused, including former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and three companies in the 2008 2G spectrum allocation “scam,” the special CBI court on Thursday cited “lack of direct or legally admissible evidence” of any wrongdoing by them and the prosecution's “miserable failure” in proving any charge against any of them.

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While acquitting all the accused, including former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and three companies in the 2008 2G spectrum allocation “scam,” the special CBI court on Thursday cited “lack of direct or legally admissible evidence” of any wrongdoing by them and the prosecution’s “miserable failure” in proving any charge against any of them. According to Special CBI judge OP Saini, there was nothing to indicate “any criminality in the acts allegedly committed by the accused persons relating to fixation of cut-off date, manipulation of first-come first-served policy, allocation of spectrum to dual technology applicants, ignoring ineligibility of STPL and Unitech group companies, non-revision of entry fee and transfer of Rs 200 crore to Kalaignar TV (P) Ltd as illegal gratification.” The court blamed the Department of Telecom (DoT) officials who made everyone to see a huge scam when there was none, due to their various “actions and inactions.” It said: “…some people created a scam by artfully arranging a few selected facts and exaggerating things beyond recognition to astronomical levels,” adding that policy decisions of the DoT were “scattered” all over in a disorderly manner and were difficult to trace and understand, thus leaving scope for controversy”.

On the role of the then Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Saini said there is nothing to show that the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, was misled by Raja as the letter written by the latter on November 2, 2007 informing the former about of the decision of DoT for issuing of LOIs for new licences in the backdrop of inadequate spectrum was not placed before the PM.

“Had these letters been deliberated in the PMO, there must have been some record, but no such record has been produced before this court…However, it is clear that somebody from the PMO had given a go ahead to the DoT for issue of new licences…The PM may even not be aware of this,” the judgment stated. In his 1,552-page order, Saini was scathing on the prosecution, the quality of which he felt “totally deteriorated”. The prosecution had became directionless and diffident, he noted.

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