Prosecution failed, doesn’t mean no case: Judge who shot down 2G award

“Kindly read the judgment as a whole. Trial court has said prosecution has failed to adduce any evidence to prove the allegations. That’s all,” Justice Singhvi told The Indian Express Friday.

Written by Ananthakrishnan G | New Delhi | Updated: December 23, 2017 7:20:14 am
The bench said “material produced before the court shows that the Minister of C&IT (Communications and Information Technology) wanted to favour some companies at the cost of the public exchequer…”.

A day after a special court acquitted UPA telecom minister A Raja, his DMK colleague and MP Kanimozhi and 15 others in a case relating to alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum in 2008, former Supreme Court judge G S Singhvi, who authored the February 2012 apex court judgment cancelling telecom licences and the allotted spectrum, said the trial court order did not mean there was no case at all, but only that the prosecution had not been able to prove the charges.

“Kindly read the judgment as a whole. Trial court has said prosecution has failed to adduce any evidence to prove the allegations. That’s all,” Justice Singhvi told The Indian Express Friday.

“There are two things in criminal law. One, no case at all; and second, no evidence. In this case, as per press reports, there is no evidence… If somebody commits a crime but no evidence is produced, the person can’t be convicted,” he said.

Express explained | Decoding the 2G spectrum verdict: Charge by charge, how the case collapsed

In 2012, cancelling the licences allotted during Raja’s tenure as minister, the bench of Justices Singhvi and A K Ganguly had ruled that “the exercise undertaken by the officers of the DoT (Department of Telecom) between September 2007 and March 2008, under the leadership of the then Minister of C&IT, was wholly arbitrary, capricious and contrary to public interest apart from being violative of the doctrine of equality.”

The bench said “material produced before the court shows that the Minister of C&IT (Communications and Information Technology) wanted to favour some companies at the cost of the public exchequer…”.

On this, Justice Singhvi said the issue before the Supreme Court was “entirely different”. The issue before the apex court, he said, was that of legality of the spectrum allocation process, while that before the trial court was one of criminality. He declined to comment on the zero-loss theory, merely saying that the then government had said that the spectrum auction had fetched Rs 60,000 crore.

On Thursday, the court of judge O P Saini acquitted the 17 accused in the case, including Raja and Kanimozhi, saying there was “nil evidence on record” and pulled up the CBI for not doing its prosecution homework.

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