The ruling BJP on Thursday invoked the 2012 judgment of the Supreme Court to counter the Congress’s claim of a clean chit in the 2G matter. BJP leaders, including senior ministers, cited the apex court’s move to quash the 122 second generation spectrum licences and its directive for auction as evidence of wrongdoing by the UPA in spectrum allocation.
Slamming the Congress for celebrating Thursday’s verdict as a clean chit to its policy for second generation spectrum allocation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that investigation agencies would take an appropriate decision, taking facts and history into account.
He cited the Supreme Court verdict to assert corruption in the UPA government’s 2G spectrum allocation policy, and said the Congress was treating a trial court’s acquittal of the accused in the case as a badge of honour. “Its history is of corruption. Facts have proven it. Congress leaders are treating the judgment like a badge of honour and certification that the 2G spectrum allocation policy was an honest policy,” Jaitley told reporters in the Parliament House complex.
Jaitley cited details of the allocation policy of the UPA government and the Supreme Court verdict in February 2012 quashing all allocations. Each allocation was quashed as arbitrary and unfair, the minister said.
Jaitley said the criminal case was launched on the SC order. He also rejected former telecom minister Kapil Sibal’s “zero loss” claim in the allocation, saying it was disproved by the subsequent allocation by the BJP-led NDA government, fetching Rs 1.1 lakh crore in 2015 and Rs 66,000 crore in 2016. Jaitley pointed out that the UPA government had fixed a price of Rs 1,734 crore per licencee.
Coming down heavily on the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government, Jaitley said it had given licences in 2007-08 on the basis of a price linked to 2001 and there was a “huge element of arbitrariness” in implementation of the policy. Cut-off dates were advanced and the first-come-first-serve policy was intended to serve a select few, he said, adding that it was later changed to “first come first pay” and a select few were informed in advance.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar also said the judgment was not a “clean chit to the Congress”.
BJP spokesman Anil Baluni said, “In 2012 the SC verdict clearly indicted the Manmohan Singh government for allowing open loot of national assets by not following procedures in allocating spectrum. Similarly, coal scam happened right under the nose of Manmohan Singh, who was in charge of Coal Ministry. People have been found guilty of corruption and sentenced. What is the Congress trying to justify when court verdicts have found its government guilty of indulging in corrupt practices, thus causing major financial losses to the nation and betraying trust of the people of India.”