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2G verdict: BJP lied, says Cong; ruckus in Parl; top 10 developments

After A Raja was found not guilty of conspiring and executing what has been described as one of India's biggest scams, his wife and daughter broke down in court

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Opposition members protest inside the Lok Sabha in New Delhi during the ongoing winter session of Parliament
Opposition members protest inside the Lok Sabha in New Delhi during the ongoing winter session of Parliament

A special court on Thursday acquitted all the accused in the alleged 2G scam, giving a major relief to former Telecom Minister A. Raja and MP who were jailed on charges of taking kickbacks to issue the telecom spectrum and licences in 2008 at throwaway prices. Special Judge O. P. Saini said the and the had failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove the charges against 33 persons named in the case that contributed to the Congress-led UPA' electoral loss in 2014. A war of words broke out between the UPA and the NDA immediately after the verdict was out on Thursday. Former PM said that the court's verdict has proved that the was a "massive propaganda against the UPA", while finance minister Arun Jaitley slammed Congress for treating the as a badge of honour. Here are top 10 developments 1. Highlights of the verdict a. The chargesheet of the instant case is based mainly on misreading, selective reading, non-reading and out of the context reading of official records. b. There is no evidence on the record produced before the court indicating any criminality in the acts allegedly committed by the accused persons relating to fixation of cutoff date, manipulation of first-come-first-serve policy. c. No understanding of the official notes by outside agency (CBI) creates an impression of wrongdoing. d. Guidelines have been framed in such technical language that meaning of many terms are not clear even to DoT officers, how can they blame companies/others for violation of the same. 2. celebrates 2G verdict leader M. K. Stalin welcomed as "historic" the court ruling. Stalin told reporters: "A historic judgement has been given... The case was filed in 2009. (It) was filed to defame and obliterate a political party." Hundreds of activists trooped to the party headquarters here and celebrated the verdict. They burst firecrackers and distributed sweets. Others in the DMK, including P. Siva, as well as Congress leaders too, expressed happiness over the verdict. Puducherry Chief Minister and Congress leader V Narayanasamy said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gained political mileage due to its false campaign against Congress and

3. A Raja's family, burst in tears after verdict After was found not guilty of conspiring and executing what has been described as one of India's biggest scams, his wife and daughter broke down in court. Along with Raja, who is a former telecom minister, M Kanimozhi, the daughter of chief M Karunanidhi, was also acquitted. The party said "Victory begins now.

With political motives this case was put in us. Conspiracies were hatched against us but all have been blown away now". was in tears in court and later said: I would love to thank everyone who stood by me. Welcoming the court verdict acquitting him and all accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case, then Telecom Minister A. Raja said he was happy with the court order. "I am happy with the court order," Raja told reporters after pronouncement of the verdict. 4. History may treat fairly Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose image took a battering due to the 2G spectrum allocation scandal, said the verdict had proved that all the "massive propaganda against the UPA was without any foundation". "I don't want to boast. I think the court's judgment has to be respected, and I am glad the court has pronounced unambiguously that all this massive propaganda against the UPA was without any foundation." Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who took over the Telecom Ministry after Raja's resignation, called the verdict a "moral and legal victory" for the UPA. "We will ask those who raised allegations against us to apologise," Sibal said, urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop raising the issue now. "and the stand vindicated today." Sibal, who had maintained that there was zero loss to the exchequer, sought an apology from Vinod Rai who as then CAG had in his telecom audit report highlighted the loss Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the state exchequer. 5. 'Congress's 2G spectrum policy was corrupt and dishonest' Finance Minister Arun Jaitley slammed the Congress for treating the case verdict as a "badge of honour", saying the UPA's policy of spectrum allocation was "corrupt and dishonest". "Congress leaders are treating this judgement as some kind of a badge of honour and a certification that it was an honest policy," Jaitley told reporters outside Parliament. "This was a corrupt and dishonest policy, which has already been upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012," he said. Jaitley leader said that in 2007-08 spectrum was not allocated on the basis of auction but on the price discovery mode made in 2001. Jaitley alleged that spectrum was given on the basis of "first-come-first-serve basis which was meant to serve a selected few". "The first-come-first-serve policy then got converted to first-come-first-pay," he alleged.

6. Blow for BJP? The may be bad for the BJP as it prepares for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. It not only weakens its anti-corruption plank against the second term of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government but also strengthens the (DMK), currently an ally of the Congress. The BJP and the Narendra Modi-led central government, during its three-and-a-half years of rule, have continued to use the as the centrepiece of their corruption plank against the UPA government’s second term in office. After the verdict that acquitted former telecom minister and Rajya Sabha MP M Kanimozhi, the spectre of 2G as a symbol of Congress and corruption would lose its lustre. 7. Rajya Sabha adjourned The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 p.m. on Thursday after Congress leaders created pandemonium over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks against his predecessor and also due to the "Till yesterday (Wednesday) we had been demanding the Prime Minister's clarification on his remarks against Manmohan Singhji but today another incident took place and now we want clarification on both the issues," Leader of Opposition Ghulam Azad said. "They should now prove on which basis they had alleged that there was a scandal of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Through false campaign, an environment against UPA was created and was the reason we are here in the opposition benches and you are there in treasury benches". The Chairman requested Azad not to speak over the issue as he had not given any notice but he continued. The Congress members then trooped near the Chairman's podium and started sloganeering. 8. ED to knock doors of high court armed with evidence The (ED) will appeal against the judgement of the special court that acquitted 19 people in the 2G spectrum allocation money laundering case, agency sources said. They said the agency will study the order and will knock on the doors of the high court armed with their evidence and investigation. Sources said it has to be seen if the ED case has been rejected by the court merely because the predicate offence probe of has been rejected or there were other reasons to do so. 9. Will decide on next course of action The said it will decide on its future course of action after reading the detailed judgement of the special court. "We are waiting for the detailed judgement. Once we receive the copy we will examine it and take legal opinion and then decide on our next course of action," Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said. 10. Unitech, D B Realty rally up to 20% after verdict Shares of companies linked to the case surged up to 20 per cent today after a special court acquitted all the accused. Unitech surged 19.91 per cent, D B Realty 19.89 per cent, Reliance Communications 13.49 per cent and Sun TV Network 5.98 per cent on the BSE. Besides them, three telecom firms -- Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd -- were acquitted in the case. ALSO READ: D B Realty, Unitech, Sun TV Network surge upto 20% post 2G verdict

First Published: Thu, December 21 2017. 14:54 IST
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