2G Scam Verdict: A special CBI court on Thursday acquitted all 18 2G Scam accused. Here is a quick recap of how the case has turned out so far:
2G Scam Verdict: A special CBI court on Thursday acquitted all 18 accused including A Raja and K Kanimozhi in 2G spectrum allocation case. The judgment comes after nearly six years after the Supreme court canceled the spectrum and licenses allocated to eight companies, holding that the process was flawed. In exonerating all the accused, CBI special judge O.P. Saini said, “I have no hesitation in holding that record is not sufficient and the prosecution has miserably failed in proving charges. All accused are acquitted.” Censuring the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Saini noted in his 2,000-page judgment, “People cannot be held guilty without evidence or evidence which is not legally admissible. High profile nature of a case cannot be used as a ground for holding people guilty without legal evidence. Lack of commercial prudence in the execution of documents cannot be used as a ruse to hold people guilty of corruption. Since there were no ‘proceeds of crime’, there could be no offense of money-laundering, as nothing remained to be laundered. All accused were absolved of the charges under Prevention of Money Laundering Act as well.”
The other accused of the case were Raja’s ex-private secretary R.K. Chandolia, Reliance Group (previously known as Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group) managing director Gautam Doshi, its senior vice president Hari Nair, group president Surendra Pipara, Swan Telecom Pvt. Ltd promoter Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd managing director Sanjay Chandra, Essar Group promoters Anshuman and Ravi Ruia, its director (strategy and planning) Vikas Saraf, Loop Telecom Pvt. Ltd promoters Kiran Khaitan and her husband I.P. Khaitan.
Here is a quick recap of how the case has turned out so far:-
1. The process of allotment of 2G spectrum and licenses began in August 2007. In January 2008, the Department of Telecom (DoT) issued licenses on a first-come-first-serve basis (FCFS).
2. A year later, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) directed the CBI to investigate the allegations of illegalities in the allocation of 2G spectrum.
3. CAG Vinod Rai submitted its report on 2G spectrum in 2010 claiming losses of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer which followed Raja’s resignation. Raja, former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary Ravindra Kumar Chandolia and Shahid Usman Balwa, promoter of Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd were arrested by the CBI in February 2011.
4. On April 2, 2011, the CBI filed its first charge sheet and named Raja, Chandolia, and Behura as the main accused. Reliance ADAG Group Managing Director Gautam Doshi, its Senior Vice President Hari Nair, Group President Surendra Pipara, Swan Telecom Promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and Managing Director of Unitech Ltd Sanjay Chandra were also made accused in the case. Three companies — Reliance Telecom Ltd, Swan Telecom, and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd – were also included in the charge-sheet.
5. In its second charge sheet, it named DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s daughter and lawmaker Kanimozhi and four others. Charges framed against all 17 accused in October 2011. The trial in the case began in November.
6. The ED filed a charge sheet in April 2014 against Raja, Kanimozhi, Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Aggarwal, Karim Morani, Sharad Kumar and others in connection with a money laundering case relating to the scam.
7. In its final report, the ED had named 10 individuals and nine companies as accused and listed them in the charge sheet for the offenses under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
8. Reliance ADAG officials were accused of using Swan Telecom as a front to acquire 14 licenses. Its promoter Anil Ambani denied any knowledge of it and was called as a prosecution witness to help the CBI’s case.
9. On Thursday (December 22, 2017), a special CBI court acquitted all the accused including former telecommunications minister Andimuthu Raja and Rajya Sabha member Muthuvel Karunanidhi Kanimozh.
10. The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday said it will challenge the special Delhi court’s verdict in the 2G spectrum scam. The agency said the court had possibly not “appreciated [the evidence] in its proper perspective