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2G scam case verdict: The buck stops at PM Narendra Modi's desk
CBI trial court's verdict on the 2G scam case created huge furore in the country as all the 19 accused of the 30,000 crore rupees swindle were acquitted.

Congress and the DMK celebrated after the verdict claiming vindication and even demanding an apology from then CAG Vinod Rai and the present BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

The BJP on the other hand appeared to be on the back foot, although Arun Jaitley said that the Congress shouldn't consider the verdict as a 'badge of honour'. ED and the CBI are preparing to appeal against the verdict in the High Court. The news channels are full of debates on the acquittal of all the accused in the scam. But the point is, what exactly is the case all about, and where does the buck stop now?

First let's know about the CBI special Court judge OP Saini, who pronounced the verdict at the Patiala House Court in Delhi on Thursday. This sub-inspector turned-judge has an impeccable track record in his career. He was handpicked by the Supreme Court bench comprising of justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly to head the special CBI court and conduct trial in the 2G scam case. According to sources, he is a very strict judge and never errs in his judgement. And that's the precise reason why his judgement in this 2G scam case becomes significant.

The then CAG Vinod Rai in 2010, had filed a report stating irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum during the UPA-II government in 2008 which had resulted in a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer. The matter went to the Supreme Court which upheld Vinod Rai's observations in 2012 and cancelled all the 122 allotments. Thus, it was established that the procedure adopted during the allocation of 2G spectrum was a case of corruption. Hence, the argument given by the Congress party and some Congress leaning people like KT Tulsi that the trial court has said that 'the procedure followed by the telecom ministry while allocation 2G spectrum was correct', is wrong.

Now, let's come to the next episode. The Supreme Court ordered setting up of a special CBI court headed by Justice OP Saini to conduct trial under criminal intent/conspiracy for adopting such an arbitrary and corrupt procedure. The CBI was given the responsibility to investigate and prosecute the accused in the case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) too investigated the money laundering angle of the case by tracking money trail.

From the above, one things is clear that the procedure followed by the erstwhile telecom ministry led by A Raja while allotting 2G spectrum was wrong, arbitrary and biased.

However, the special CBI court's judgement said that the prosecution had "failed to prove charges beyond reasonable doubt', while acquitting all the 19 accused in the case. That means that the judgement didn't say anywhere that the accused were innocent. Rather, Justice Saini slammed the prosecution for conducting the trial in a directionless manner and failing to provide the court with credible evidence.

While pronouncing the verdict on Thursday, Justice Saini said,"For the last seven years on all working days, summer vacation included, I religiously sat in the open court from 10 am to 5 pm, waiting for someone with legally admissible evidence in his possession but all in vain. Everybody was going by rumour and gossip."

The point is simple, that the prosecution was deliberately sabotaged, as it was an open and shut case. Many are of the opinion that since out of the total seven years that the trial lasted, the first four years were during the tenure of the UPA-II government, which could have influenced the prosecution and weakened the case. I could agree to it partially, but then, what about the last three years of the trail which went on during the current BJP-led government's tenure! The ruling government can't express helplessness particularly when Narendra Modi has promised stern action against the corrupt.

Dr Subramanian Swami at a press conference alleged that there were people in the current NDA government who had sabotaged the trial in the 2G scam case, indirectly pointing a finger at Arun Jaitley. Swami also pointed out that Mukul Rohtagi, the former Attorney General of the NDA government, had in fact previously fought the case on behalf of the accused in the 2G scam case.

I have no hesitation in saying that the buck now stops at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's desk. Public at large is angry on this travesty of justice. It's time for the Narendra Modi government to get its act together. Public trust is a very delicate matter. Once lost, it will be lost forever. If nothing is done now, the 2019 Lok Sabha election could turn out to be Narendra Modi's Waterloo.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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