Tuesday, 18 January, 2022
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As 2G scam verdict is announced today, meet those who allegedly executed & exposed it

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From telecom minister A. Raja to whistleblower Subramanian Swamy, the list of names associated with the scam features many powerful figures.

New Delhi: A special CBI court is set to announce the verdict in the 2G spectrum scam case Thursday. This is one of the biggest scams ever to surface in India.

The scam emerged in 2010, when a report by the then Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai alleged that the 2G telecom spectrum was being allocated at throwaway prices.

The CBI filed a charge-sheet in the case six years ago, bringing to light the alleged involvement of some of the most prominent politicians, bureaucrats, and business people, including former telecom minister A. Raja, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP Kanimozhi, and 15 others who have been tried as accused for charges varying from cheating and abusing public office to criminal conspiracy.

The CBI court started trying cases relating to the irregularities in the allocation of 2G telecom spectrum and licences in 2012, and has now reached a stage where judge Om Prakash Saini is set to pronounce his ruling on the fate of the accused.

Here is the list of some prominent people associated with executing and exposing the scam:

A. Raja

Andimuthu Raja | Photo By Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Raja was the Union telecom minister under whom airwaves were to be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. However, Raja was accused of taking bribes and favouring certain parties. He was also accused of manipulating the rationing of 2G licences by charging an entry fee.

Kanimozhi

Parliamentarian and daughter of DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi, Kanimozhi was also accused of accepting bribes. Her association with Kalaignar TV, which happens to be one of the beneficiaries of 2G licences, put her under the CBI radar.

T. Ananda Krishnan

T. Ananda Krishnan,| Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Businessman and owner of the Malaysia-based Maxis Communications group, Krishnan was accused of benefitting from the unfair rationing of licences when former Aircel chief C. Sivasankaran complained to the CBI about not receiving a telecom licence, and being forced by telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran to sell Aircel to Maxis communications.

Karti Chidambaram

Karti P Chidambaram | Karti P Chidambaram facebook page

Son of former Union finance minister P. Chidambaram, Karti was accused of partaking in the biased 2G rationing with Maxis Communication. Subramanian Swamy alleged that Karti’s company received a five per cent share of Aircel, and got a part of the Rs 40 billion paid by Maxis Communications for its share of Aircel.

Kapil Sibal

Kapil sibal | @KapilSibal

Sibal was the telecom minister between 2011 and 2014, under UPA-2. He came under fire due to his comment that the 2G scam was “notional”, and caused “zero loss”.

Current finance minister Arun Jaitley also accused Sibal in a Facebook post, saying: “At the time when the telecom sector was riddled with scams, Kapil Sibal selected a retired judge of his choice and asked him to unearth an ‘NDA scam’ in telecom.”

Subramanian Swamy

Subramanian Swamy | Flickr

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy played a key role in exposing the scam – sending a series of letters to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, warning him about the scam and filing criminal complaints in the Supreme Court.

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