The Special Court acquitted everyone involved in the 2G spectrum allocation scam cases on Thursday. Former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi were acquitted among other members.
Special CBI judge O P Saini who gave the judgment said that the prosecution “miserably failed” to prove the charges against the accused. Former finance minister P Chidambaram said after the judgment, “one thing is clear that the allegations of a major scam involving highest levels of government were not true or correct.” Former PM Manmohan Singh expresses relief at the judgment.
Kanimozhi looked elated and thanked everyone who stood by her through all these years. The security in the Patiala house was increased due to the verdict. Former CBI Director who led to the arrest expressed “shock” on the acquittal.
The 2G scam rocked the UPA government in 2007-08. It relates to the granting of the allocation of the 2G spectrum which, according to a report by Vinod Rai, the former Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) of India, resulted in a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. The Times Magazine called it the biggest abuse of executive power – just a little less than Nixon’s Watergate scandal.
In October 2011, the court had framed charges under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offenses of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, using as genuine fake documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking a bribe, according to The Indian Express. The 17 accused included former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi.
The 2G licenses were canceled in 2012 by the Supreme Court. The cancellation prompted the key stakeholders — the government and telecom operators — to revamp the way the telecom sector functioned in India, especially how airwaves were offered to operators.
A Raja maintained during the trial that whatever he did was done in public interest and he had no personal gains from it. Kanimozhi too denied all allegations.