2G Verdict Not Ready, Says Judge, Defers Hearing To December 5: 10 Points

NEW DELHI:  Whether A Raja, telecom minister in the previous Manmohan Singh government, is guilty in the 2G spectrum scam, one of India's biggest swindles, will be decided by a special court which will announce a date for its verdict on December 5. The court is considering three cases in the scam that is centred on allegations that in 2007-2008, when the government issued new telecom licences, several rules were violated and bribes were paid to favour certain companies. It was one of the scandals that was seen to burden the Congress government with an image of egregious corruption. Besides A Raja, DMK lawmaker MK Kanimozhi and a series of high-profile industrialists are among the accused.

 

Here is your 10-point cheat-sheet on this big story:
 
 
 
 
 
 
  1. The court is hearing three cases, two filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI and one by the Enforcement Directorate. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. In the first case filed by the CBI, those facing trial include Mr Raja, Ms Kanimozhi, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura and Mr Raja's former private secretary. Promoters of Swan Telecom, the Managing Director of Unitech, three top executives of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and directors of Kalaignar TV are also accused in the case.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Three telecom firms - Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd - are also facing trial.

 

 

 

 

  1. The CBI has alleged that there was a loss of Rs. 30,984 crore to the exchequer in the allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum, which were scrapped by the Supreme Court in 2012.

 

 

 

 

  1. The court has recorded the statements of 154 CBI witnesses - including Anil Ambani, his wife Tina Ambani and former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia - running into over 4,400 pages.

 

 

 

 

  1. The charges can lead to a punishment of six months in jail to life imprisonment.

 

 

 

 

  1. In the second CBI case, those facing trial are Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband IP Khaitan and Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf. Three firms, Loop Telecom Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding Ltd, have also been named in the charge sheet.

 

 

 

  1. The Enforcement Directorate has charged 19 people, including Mr Raja, Ms Kanimozhi, Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Aggarwal, Karim Morani and Sharad Kumar, in connection with a money laundering case relating to the scam.

 

 

 

 

  1. The Enforcement Directorate also named in its charge-sheet DMK chief M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal as an accused in a case linked to money-laundering of a Rs. 200 crore kickback.

 

 

 

  1. Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on a visit to Chennai, called on Mr Karunanidhi, 93, who is recovering from a long illness. The PM was received by his children and DMK leaders MK Stalin and Ms Kanimozhi. DMK sources said there was no political signal in the 20-minute meeting, but it fuelled talk a day before the 2G hearing.

 

 

 

 

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