CHENNAI: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leaders Kanimozhi and A Raja, who were acquitted in 2G spectrum allocation scam case, were accorded grand welcome here on Saturday.
Hundreds of DMK workers and supporters gathered at the Chennai Airport after the party leaders were acquitted by the Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Delhi.
The party supporters also gathered outside the residence of party supremo M Karunanidhi, father of Kanimozhi, at Gopalapuram.
On Thursday, the CBI acquitted both the DMK leaders and 17 other accused in the case.
The alleged 2G scam was among the major corruption scandals that came to light during the second term of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The scam relates to the granting of 2G spectrum licence allocations in 2007-08 which caused, according to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.
According to the CBI chargesheet, Kanimozhi owns 20 percent of family-owned Kalaignar TV and was the active brain" behind the channel and conspired with then Information and Broadcasting Minister Raja to coerce DB Realty cofounder Shahid Balwa to funnel ?2 billion (US$31 million) to Kalaignar TV.
She was arrested by the CBI on May 20, 2011 and was granted bail on November 28, 2011, after 188 days in custody.’
A Raja faced the charge of criminal breach of trust by a public servant (section 409), criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420) and forgery (Sections 468 and 471) and was booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act for accepting illegal gratification.
He was arrested by CBI on February 2, 2011 and got bail after spending 15 months in Tihar Jail.
Pronouncing the verdict, the Special CBI Judge O.P. Saini said, “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-served policy, allocation of spectrum to dual technology applicants, ignoring ineligibility of STPL (Swan Telecom Pvt. Ltd.) and Unitech group companies, nonrevision of entry fee and transfer of Rs 200 crore to Kalaignar TV (P) Limited as illegal gratification.”
He added: “… I have absolutely no hesitation in holding that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove any charge against any of the accused, made in its well choreographed charge sheet.”
The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has decided to appeal against the acquittal of the accused.