2G Spectrum case: CBI defends former PM

RSTV Bureau

RajaCentral Bureau of Investigations has come to the defence of former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in 2G spectrum allocation case. During an important hearing in the trial proceedings of the 2G spectrum allocation ‘scam’, the central probe agency told the special court that “ex-Telecom Minister A Raja had misled the then PM Manmohan Singh on policy matters pertaining to 2G spectrum allocation”.

“Raja had deliberately advanced the cut-off date to favour accused firms in 2G allocation” the CBI counsel told the Special Judge OP Saini.

Dubbed a huge ‘scam’ where the alleged arbitrary allocation process had cost the national exchequer a multi-crore loss, special CBI court was hearing the arguments put forth by the investigating agency.

The CBI further added “2G spectrum was granted to ineligible companies like Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd”

The Special CBI court in Delhi’s Patiala House court is hearing the final arguments in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case. Former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and some top corporate executives including the officials from Reliance, Swann Telecom, Unitech are facing trial.

CBI, in its charge sheet, had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum. The Licences were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.

The alleged scam had brought the previous Congress-led UPA 2 government at the centre under questions after a report tabled by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) computed multi-crore notional loss to the national treasury due to change in allocation process. The issue snowballed with popular anti-corruption movement raising the issue at various public forums seeking a fair probe in the matter.
Finally in 2012, the matter reached court after the Supreme Court decided to admit the Public Interest Litigation seeking a court monitored investigations. Supreme Court eventually ordered the probe to be overseen by its bench and designated special court to hear the trial.

In the trial proceedings at Patiala House court, the CBI has examined 154 witnesses while the accused called 29 witnesses in their defence.

The Special Court had on October 22, 2011, framed charges of Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe along with other charges of IPC.

The offences attract punishment ranging from six months jail to life imprisonment.