The special CBI court on Thursday acquitted all accused in the 2G spectrum scam case giving huge sigh of relief to former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and several others.
The trial in 2G spectrum scam started six years ago in 2011 after the court had framed charges against 17 accused in the CBI case for offenses that entailed punishment ranging from six months to life imprisonment.
Special CBI judge O P Saini pronounced a single line judgment in separate cases lodged by the CBI and the ED in the infamous 2G scam which rocked the UPA government.
Mr Raja was accused of allocating airwaves and licenses for cellphone networks in exchange for kickbacks and causing the state a loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore. The Time magazine ranked the 2G scam as the world's second-biggest abuse of executive power.
In its charge sheet filed in April 2011 against Raja and others, the CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.
Here is who said what:
# Mukul Rohatgi,former Attorney General: All the people of the industry who were accused have suffered enough, licenses cancelled, they were also unable to travel abroad. Prosecution's main argument was on clause 8, it is a civil issue.It was never an issue of criminality, this is what court also held.
# Shashi Tharoor, Congress: Clearly the Court found that innocent people have been wronged. Justice has worked as it is supposed to work in our country.
# MK Stalin: Justice has won, this is what M Karunanidhi had also said, opposition and media had put in all efforts to malign us in this case, all has been proved wrong. I was accused to ensure DMK lost elections.
# P Chidambaram,Congress: Allegation of a major scam involving the highest levels of Government was never true, was not correct and that has been established today.
# Priyanka Chaturvedi: "Will BJP now apologise to the nation for stalling parliament for years, slowing down India's growth story, levelling baseless accusations against the then government for BJP's hunger to be in power at any cost? Shame on their power hungry politics".
# RS Bharathi, DMK: It was a false case. For the past 2 assembly elections, the case was used against us, now it has been proved to be wrong.
# Subramanian Swamy: Congis and Allies celebrated JJ HC acquittal. Then in SC got deflated. Same will be here.
# Kanimozhi: We are very happy that justice has prevailed. It is a big day for the DMK family. It is an answer to all the blames & the problems we faced.
# CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal: We are yet to receive complete judgement. We will study it, take legal opinion and decide future action.
# MK Stalin, DMK Working President: The acquittal of all the accused by the special court has brought happiness to us. The verdict further proves that there was no wrong done. All this has been proved.
# Arun Jaitley: Each & every case of spectrum allocation was quashed by SC (in 2012) as arbitrary & unfair, the policy was quashed as unfair & intended to cause loss to GoI & the govt was directed to have a fresh policy by which an auction would take place.
Congress leaders are treating this judgement as some kind of a badge of honor & a certification that it was an honest policy. This was a corrupt & dishonest policy, which has already been upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012.
I am sure that the investigative agencies will have a close look at it (the judgement & acquittal of accused) & decide what has to be done.
# Kapil Sibal, Congress: We are saying that the PM should come to the house and give a clarification, this govt was formed on the basis that UPA was embroiled in 2G & other scams, but now it has been proved that it was just a scam of lies by the opposition.
# Former PM Manmohan Singh: 'The court judgement has to be respected. I'm glad that the court has pronounced that the massive propaganda against UPA was without any foundation.'
# Hussain Balwa, brother of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa: We're relieved of the huge tension we had. What kept us going was that we knew all along that Law of the land will be upheld. We knew that if there will be a fair trial it will give us the justice.
# Anna Hazare: If the Government has concrete evidence, then they should take the matter to a higher court.
# BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, on whose PIL CBI probe was ordered in 2G case, says Govt should appeal in high court against acquittals.