2G verdict proves propaganda against UPA was baseless: Manmohan Singh

DMK MP Kanimozhi arrives at the Patiala House for the verdict in the 2G scam case on Thursday

DMK MP Kanimozhi arrives at the Patiala House for the verdict in the 2G scam case on Thursday

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, turned out to be a moral boosting victory for the Congress and the UPA as all the 17 accused including former telecommunications minister A Raja and DMK's MP Kanimozhi were acquitted today by the special CBI court on the grounds that record was not sufficient and the prosecution has failed to prove the guilt.

"Thereafter only, Sh. Pulok Chatterjee became wiser and rectified his mistake, and placed the correct facts before the then Hon'ble Prime Minister, but by that time, it was too late", the judge observed.

While former Law Minister Kapil Sibal told The Indian Express that Rai should be sacked from all posts he holds and should tender an apology, former I&B Minister Manish Tewari said the verdict has established that "Rai and the then officers of CAG were possibly in the hands of forces which were inimical to the UPA government". The judge said, "The changed criterion was the most controversial issue and it was duly communicated to the PM by Raja.but this important issue was not placed before the then Hon'ble Prime Minister".

The DoT issued 120 new licences on January 8, 2008, and the Prime Minister came to know of it. The SC had ruled that the cut-off date (Sept 25, 2007) for applications was changed, a policy of "first come, first serve" adopted and then expediently changed to "first come, first pay" policy to benefit a few. I do not want to boast (about) anything.

Talking to reporters outside Parliament, Manmohan Singh said: "We respect the court judgment..."

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The court also noted that Raja, in a five-page letter, had laid out the facts of the matter and had clearly recorded that after due consideration, TRAI and Telecom Commission had advised against auctioning the spectrum.

Manmohan Singh had borne the brunt of an aggressive BJP attack when he was Prime Minister. Other BJP leaders asked the Congress not to rejoice as there are a host of corruption cases still pending against its leaders.

Following Thursday's verdict, nearly all top leaders of the Congress came out with all guns blazing at the BJP and the former Comptroller and Auditor General.

Many former Union ministers and senior Congress leaders such as P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, Kamal Nath, and Azad were also quick to target the BJP for what they called "propaganda against the UPA".

Unless the Modi government's appeal to a higher court against justice Saini's verdict focuses on the real culprits and not their bagmen, it will not only lose that appeal but also its credibility and future electability.

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