Varied views were expressed by legal experts on a special court verdict acquitting all accused including former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum allocation scam cases. While one section dubbed the acquittal as “unfortunate” and opined that it will politically raise a serious situation, the other said that a “bubble was created” which burst due to lack of evidence.
Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee said he cannot term the judgement as “good or bad” without reading it but was quick to add that “this is not a final verdict” and can be tested in appeals before higher courts. “It is only a special court verdict which can be appealed against. The CBI can appeal in the High Court. I have not read the judgement so cannot say if it was good or bad,” Sorabjee, who was the top law officer during the previous NDA regime, told PTI.
However, senior advocates Ajit Kumar Sinha and Dushyant Dave were forthcoming in their views and questioned the prosecution for the debacle. While Sinha, a former high court judge, termed the outcome as “unfortunate”, Dave said “it shows a botched-up investigation in the matter where the prosecution failed to prove the case” and “this verdict creates serious doubts on the investigating agencies especially premier agency like the CBI.”
“Politically it raises a serious situation in the country. We have to see it in the political spectrum in a long way,” he said. Sinha toed the findings of the special court which said the CBI had started its case with “great enthusiasm and ardour” but at the final stage of the trial, the Special Public Prosecutor and the regular CBI prosecutor moved in “two different directions without any coordination”.
“They (the CBI and ED) started on a good note and later it became very very lacklustre and there was no evidence to corroborate nor it was taken with all sincerity and that really led to acquittal of each and every accused and its unfortunate,” he said. However, differing with Sinha and Dave, senior advocate Vikas Singh and former High Court judge R S Sodhi said prosecution did not have enough material to establish its case.
“There was lack of evidence. It speaks volumes of our judiciary. They had the best special public prosecutor in the matter. There was nothing in the matter. A bubble was created and it has now been burst,” Sodhi said. Taking a little different take, Singh maintained that scam was only, if at all, with regard to the eligibility being changed from first come first served. “However, the prosecution did not have enough materials to establish even that and that is why everybody has gone scot-free in this case,” he said.
Further, Singh said that he maintained right from the beginning that this was never a scam. “This whole decision to give spectrum at those pre-determined prices can never be a scam at all because if the government decides to give infrastructure to people at cheaper rates through these companies, then it can’t be a scam,” he added.