NEW DELHI: CBI special judge O P Saini has acquitted all accused in the 2G spectrum case. But, there are stark contrasts between the Supreme Court judgement of 2012 and Thursday’s verdict.
Cancelling all 122 licences citing discrepancies in the spectrum allocation process, SC Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly had ruled in 2012 that “the exercise undertaken by officers of the DoT... under the leadership of then Minister of C&IT (Raja) was wholly arbitrary, capricious and contrary to public interest apart from being violative of the doctrine of equality.”
The SC had gone on to find that Raja, wanting to favour some companies, directed that licence applications be delayed until receipt of TRAI recommendations and did not place these recommendations before the full Telecom Commission, even though “it was absolutely necessary “ to take the Finance Ministry’s opinion as per regulations. He was also found to have introduced an earlier cut-off date for applications despite the DoT releasing a press release fixing a later date just a day earlier.
The SC had also found that the manner in which letters of intent (LOI) were granted “leaves no room for doubt” that things were “stage managed” to favour companies with advance knowledge of changes in the first-come first-served policy.
But Thursday’s verdict finds that “there is no evidence… indicating any criminality in the acts allegedly committed by the accused persons relating to fixation of cut-off date, manipulation of first-come first-served policy…”
2012’s judgment also held that Raja had given preference to firms at cost of the exchequer, with the CAG pegging losses at `1.76 lakh crore and the CBI chargesheet at `30,000 crore.
However, Saini ruled that “some people” created a scam by “artfully arranging” selected facts and “exaggerating things beyond recognition to astro- nomical levels”.