The much-awaited judgement in the alleged multi-thousand crore rupees 2G spectrum scandal will be delivered by a special court here on December 21.
“I have perused the files (related to the case) and will pronounce judgement on December 21 at 10.30 a.m.,” said Special Judge O.P. Saini, who has been hearing two separate cases related to 2G spectrum allocation and concluded final arguments on April 26, in his brief order on Tuesday.
The scam on the issuance of licences and allocation of 2G spectrum by the Department of Telecom occurred during the Congress-led UPA government’s first tenure in 2008 but was widely reported in 2010 following a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG),
The CAG had said 2G licenses were issued to telecom operators at throwaway prices causing a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer. It said licences were issued to ineligible applicants who had deliberately suppressed facts, disclosed incomplete information, submitted fictitious documents and used fraudulent means to get access to spectrum.
Then Telecom Minister A. Raja of the DMK — a constituent of the ruling UPA — became the face of the scam amid allegations that he bent the rules of auction to benefit a few and selective telecom players. Among others accused of complicity in the scam are DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi and party supremo M. Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal.
While Raja said he has faith in the judiciary, Kanimozhi remarked “let us see”. They were present in the court when Judge Saini announced the date of judgement.
All the accused are out on bail. The court on Tuesday ordered all the accused to be present on the day of the final verdict when it will also deliver its judgement in the 2G case against Essar and Loop.
The scam was investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)and the Enforcement Directorate.
According to the CBI, Raja was biased in allocating 2G mobile air waves and operating licences to telecom firms, causing a huge loss to the state exchequer. A chargesheet said Rs 200 crore were transferred from DB Group to Kalaignar TV as kickbacks in lieu of allocation of 2G spectrum to Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd.
The Enforcement Directorate has filed a separate case related to money laundering, alleging that a conspiracy was hatched by Raja, Kanimozhi, Ammal and others and that Rs 200 crore were the proceeds of the crime.
The CBI has alleged that the promoters of the Essar Group were the real investors and beneficiaries of the spectrum and licences were issued to Loop Telecom, a front company of Essar to acquire 2G licences and spectrum in 2008.
Essar and Loop promoters are facing trial for hatching a conspiracy to cheat the government for obtaining spectrum licence. The accused have denied the charges.