How CBI judge verdict in 2G case stacks up against SC order scrapping licences

In the conclusion of his order, CBI Special Judge O P Saini said, “A huge scam was seen by everyone where there was none.”

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M , Abhishek Angad | New Delhi | Updated: December 22, 2017 11:57 am
DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and former telecom minister A Raja following the 2G verdict on Thursday (Express Photos)

So, did the CBI Special Judge say that there was no 2G spectrum scam?

In the conclusion (Page 1549) of his order, CBI Special Judge O P Saini said, “A huge scam was seen by everyone where there was none.” But earlier in the order, the judge pulled up the CBI for not asking key questions, not explaining holes in official records, and for bringing witnesses who “kept fumbling”. In the case against former Telecom Minister Raja, he said, the prosecutor was “hesitant” in asking questions and witnesses were evasive. “They kept beating about the bush, never came to the bush.” (Page 1490).

Also Read| Decoding the 2G spectrum verdict: Charge by charge, how case collapsed

What did the Supreme Court say when it cancelled 122 licences?

It said that evidence showed that the Telecom Minister wanted to favour some companies, and the way the Letters of Intent (LoI) were granted to applicants “leaves no room for doubt that everything was stage-managed to favour those who were able to know in advance change in the implementation of the first-come-first-served principle”.

How does the CBI court’s verdict address this observation of the SC?

It makes no reference to the SC order, but it says that there was “lack of clarity in the policies as well as guidelines that added to the confusion”. The verdict says that there is no evidence on record indicating “any criminality” in the acts allegedly committed by the accused, including those relating to the first come, first served policy.

So, does the CBI court’s verdict contradict the SC judgment?

The CBI court only dealt with alleged criminality — criminal misconduct, breach of trust, conspiracy and cheating — and not whether the policy met the test of fairness. Indeed, the apex court underlined that its observations “shall not, in any manner, affect the pending investigation… or prejudice the defence of those who are facing prosecution in the cases registered by the CBI and the Special Judge, CBI shall decide the matter uninfluenced”.


What can the government do now?

The next course of action is appeal against the trial court judgment, where the prosecuting agencies would have to argue that the trial court had failed to appreciate the evidence on record. Both CBI and ED have said that they will go into appeal against the acquittals.

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  1. Suhas Gha
    Dec 24, 2017 at 12:28 pm
    Where is rajanath singh, cbi chief and modi after the judgement. Hiding in a hole? Come out and say something, reasonable. Lies of modi and co unlimited are exposed now. All bjp men have been stripped necked by hon court and thats what they deserve. And modi left arun to defend. It is important that rajanathsing make statement on hon judges ocservations on cbi. But he is also hiding his face like modi. Humbug and false accusation has costed this nation a dear. Fall in gdp when atmosphere was conductive for frowth. Bjp has played a bad game to bring modi to power. And modi has distroyed the economy totally. Bjp, and all others who blew out of proportion a scam that wasnt have lies to 125 cror people of india. Arun may use any words, but bjp mask is torn now. Real ugly face of bjp has come forward. People know what is real bjp now.
    1. Suhas Gha
      Dec 24, 2017 at 12:21 pm
      One more question to Dr. Rajanathsing, our honerable home minister(?), and CBI chief that what was there in that 88,000 page chargesheet? Were these 88,000 pages purchased from waste paper mart? 88,000 pages? Had government lawyer read these 88,000 pages? How much money had been paid to the lawyer for his services and how much cut rajanathsing had in that. After the verdict, silence of 3 men is very conspicuous. Modi, Home minister and cbi chief. The remarks made by judge on cbi are eye opening. And above all, that finance minister says acquital does not mean honor badge to congress. But he convinently forgets that it is a black colour on face of modi, hm and others who used this notional 1.76L crors loss to their advantage and could not find a single rupee. Hm and fm should tell us how much u have spent on investigation, prosicution in last 7 years including infrastructure cost of judges and prosicution ry and allowances. But shameless will remain always shameless.
      1. Samar Pahari
        Dec 24, 2017 at 11:39 pm
        Gha not everyone is a lunatic like you! This case was started by UPA and Raja was given a boot by MMS when he was caught pants down. Why don't you hurl your questions to Mother Miano, the super PM of the time instead of badgering Modi and his Ministers?
      2. K
        kushal kumar
        Dec 22, 2017 at 6:28 am
        Closely relevant to this scenario in nation on the eve of just coming year 2018 , readers may be interested to know this Vedic astrology writer’s prediction in article - “Astrologically speaking , some highlights for India in coming year 2018” - published in theindiapost on 19 October , 2017. Here is the related text of the prediction from the said article : - “The year 2018 looks to be bringing to focus themes of political , religious or spiritual nature for a heightened or sharp analysis or discussion. Such analysis or discussion could also pave way for new enactments or judicial pronouncements having far reaching significance or value, covering issues related to women , religion and political class”.