On Thursday (December 21st), the special CBI Court in New Delhi pronounced the verdict in the 2G spectrum case, acquitting former telecom minister A. Raja, Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and 15 other accused of corruption and money laundering charges. The verdict was delivered on the cases lodged by CBI and Enforcement Directorate against A Raja, Kanimozhi and others.
As was reported in the Hindu, Special Judge O.P. Saini said, “I have no hesitation in holding that the prosecution has failed to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt. So all are acquitted”
The trial in 2G spectrum case began in 2011 after the court had framed charges against 17 accused in the CBI’s case. All the accused in these cases denied the allegations levelled against them by the CBI and the ED. Besides A.Raja and Kanimozhi, CBI charged the then Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura, the former private secretary of A. Raja, R.K. Chandolia, Unitech Wireless Managing Director Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom Director and DB Realty MD Vinod Goenka, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s (R-ADAG) Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara Swan telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd. Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, Kalaignar TV director Sharad Kumar. The accused also include three companies namely, Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB), Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd and Reliance Telecom Ltd.
In October 2011, the court framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, using as genuine fake documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.
In the chargesheet filed in April 2011 against Raja and others, it was alleged by CBI that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 Crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.