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Special Judge O P Saini, who delivered verdict in 2G scam case, retires


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Special Judge Om Prakash Saini, who delivered judgements in several high-profile criminal cases like the 2G spectrum allocation scam involving politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen, in which all the accused were acquitted, retired on Monday.
The judge, in his career spanning 29 years, delivered several landmark judgements, including that in the 2000 Red Fort attack case wherein he awarded death sentence to a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist, Mohammad Arif.
The verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Saini hogged the limelight for granting anticipatory bail to former finance minister P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis cases earlier this month.
On February 2, 2017, Saini had acquitted former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran in the Aircel-Maxis case.
They were accused of forcing Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006, as part of a quid pro quo in the form of bribes.
Known as a tough judge, Saini was handpicked to handle the sensitive cases arising out of the 2G spectrum allocation scam probe.
The 2G case, which began with the arrest of former telecom minister D Raja in February 2011 by the CBI, went on for nearly seven years. It ended with the acquittal of Raja, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi and others, including top corporate executives, on December 22, 2017.
Saini also heard the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games scam cases and corruption cases against several top government officials and private persons.
Hailing from Haryana, he started out as a Delhi Police sub-inspector in the early 1980s. He cracked a Delhi Judicial Service exam in 1991.
Saini's verdict in the 2000 Red Fort attack case first propelled him into the limelight.
Besides awarding death sentence to LeT terrorist Arif, he awarded varying jail terms to other accused.
Three soldiers were killed in the attack at an Army camp in Red Fort.
Following his judgement in the case, Saini was provided round-the-clock Y category security by the CISF.

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First Published: Sep 30 2019 | 9:50 PM IST

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