Saturday, 25 June, 2022
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The 2G judgement will impact Tamil Nadu politics

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It is a political judgment, coming out of political convenience, because perhaps the current government needs the support of certain people. 

The 2G verdict that has come out Thursday is a sham of the first order. Come to think of it— logically speaking — this is something the Supreme Court said is illegal, and here is the special trial court saying everything is hunky-dory.

The CAG report said there was a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer. The CBI also said there was a loss of Rs 30,000 crore. The Supreme Court had fined several telecom businesses such as Unitech, Swan, and Tata Teleservices to the tune of Rs 5 crore. The Supreme Court had even said the former telecom minister and the key accused in the case, A. Raja, had gifted away a natural asset. I don’t think any of these things have been taken into account by the trial court.

There was a Joint Parliamentary Committee report and several other high-level bodies that said there was definitely some wrongdoing. There were public records that showed Raja did not obey his boss, then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. What happened to all that? How can anyone get away with this?

It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say the judgment will have an impact on Tamil Nadu politics. And, it proves Kapil Sibal right in a way — he had said 2G was “zero loss”.

The judgment is a joke. If it is allowed to stay, it could end up in billions of dollars of counter-claims from those who are affected. There were several excellent companies which wanted to invest in India, and seeing the environment, they sold out their assets and went back. It is all thanks to the environment created by the government of the day.

If there’s any amount of investigation, it would prove without any doubt that everything was illegal. But, the CBI-appointed court says everything was okay and the CBI has not been able to prove anything. This illustrates that the CBI did a poor job of it, and raises the question of who the CBI was operating on behalf of. The CBI must have had a mandate from somebody to go soft on it. Modi has decorated Vinod Rai with the Padma Bhushan. Someone has to vindicate Rai’s position.

You would think the telecom ministry would have learnt a lesson from the 2G scam. But the telecom ministry still suffers from bureaucratic lethargy and indifference. There is no application of mind.

Where do we go from here? It is a catch-22 situation. Modi’s war-cry was Mr. Manmohan Singh’s government was full of scams. They would mention the 2G scam at the drop of a hat. But, look at the voices in the Rajya Sabha today — Kapil Sibal said he always held the position that there was no loss to the exchequer.

This verdict is not a win-win situation for the NDA.

B.K. Syngal is former chairman and managing director of VSNL and a telecom consultant. His Twitter account is @BKSyngal

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