CVC plea, SC cancelling licences, auction: Govt grounds for appeal against 2G verdict

One significant point the government will bank on is the amount the government collected through auction.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: December 22, 2017 11:52 am
Former telecom minister A Raja after the verdict in New Delhi on Thursday. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

Hoping that a higher court will reverse the trial court’s acquittal in the 2G case, the government, officials said, has begun working on its appeal.

Senior ministers said that the CBI special judge’s verdict acquitting former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and business executives in a case which built the anti-corruption plank for the ruling BJP in the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha polls has given a “strong weapon” to the Opposition Congress. “They will celebrate it for a few days. But the trial court is not the last court. The sting of Congress will be lost on the day the higher court sends a notice,” said a senior Cabinet minister.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has briefed officials and the appeal is expected in a week, sources said.

Read | 2G spectrum case verdict: All acquitted, CBI indicted

In a statement, the CBI said that it will take “necessary legal remedies”. The agency claimed that “the evidence adduced to substantiate the charges by the prosecution has not been appreciated in its proper perspective by the learned CBI court.”

The government’s appeal, sources said, will be based on three key points: One, the 2G spectrum case was on the basis of Central VigilanceCommission’s directive to the CBI to probe alleged irregularities in the spectrum allocation during the UPA regime; two, the Supreme Court had quashed 122 licences finding the process of allocation unreasonable as well as a violation of law and abuse of discretion” and, three, the auction of the spectrum by the UPA and the following NDA government gained the government almost Rs 250,000 crore.

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DMK MP Kanimozhi outside the Patiala House Courts in New Delhi on Thursday. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

Also Read | The scam that wasn’t : CAG, BJP need to apologise

Pointing out that the 2008 allocation of licenses were at a flat rate of Rs1658 crore, a minister said: “The first come first pay norm was fiddled with, latecomers were given preferences, post-dated cheques were accepted and we all know what drama happened at the allocation. If the Supreme Court obsevbed that the allocation was against law, how can everyone indulged in it be acquitted?”

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

One significant point the government will bank on is the amount the government collected through auction. The first auction under the UPA government in November 2012 had gained Rs 9407 crore, Rs 3539 crore in March 2013 and Rs 61,162 crore in February 2014 while the auction in March 2015 under the NDA has got Rs 1,09874 crore and the auction in October 2016 had drawn Rs 65789 crore.

“In the light of the Supreme Court verdict to auction the spectrum, the government has an extraordinary possibility of this (verdict) being reversed in the higher court,” he said.

Politically, the government and the BJP would underline the Congress’s argument that it was under “coalition compulsions.”

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  1. H
    H.Balakrishnan
    Dec 22, 2017 at 10:18 am
    At the very outset - a confession. I am an ardent supporter of NaMo and the BJP. Despite this, I regret to state that I have started to suspect the bona fide of the NaMo Sarkar in fighting corruption. It is all 'fire and brimstone' in election rallies, but very little appears to happen thereafter. Scamsters of yesteryears are walking free and with glee. This perception is gaining ground among BJP supporters. One suspects the Finance Ministry's sleight of hand . Unless NaMo wakes up and shows results prior to 2019, Gujarat 2017 is bound to repeat itself in vast swathes of the Nation in 2019. The 2G verdict is ' A SOLID THAPPAD' on the face of the NaMo Sarkar. 'All gas and no substance' can be self defeating for the BJP. They better realise it early for their own well being.
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    1. Muftkhor By Choice
      Dec 22, 2017 at 10:00 am
      OP Saini,trial court judge was bribed by Raja, Kanimozhi, Ambani and other corporates. The judgement will be reversed in the upper courts
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      1. Sankaran Krishnan
        Dec 22, 2017 at 8:07 am
        BY this verdict the Govt. and Judiciary lost all their credibility and thus prove all the Politicians are on the same page and they will follow collective loot without any botheration about the Nation. Secondly there is no point in wasting the time on Appeals and those who will be bene ed are the Lawyers/Advocates whoever is going to represent the Acquitted ones and they will demand huge money to defend them and as for as Prosecution is concerned they are not that much talented and they can be handled with ease and anyhow the media is the beneficiary for headlines on all the days of hearing as was done all these years !!! Let us see whether the Nature punishes the guilty ones or reward with plum posts in their next innings to loot further and that too scientifically !!!
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        1. T
          Taaza Khabar
          Dec 22, 2017 at 10:05 am
          Sir, please use your good offices to persuade Shri Subramanaian Swamy to file a PIL in the GSPC loot of Rs 20,000 crore between 2005 and 2014. Styam Ev Jayate Jain Hind
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