The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to former telecom minister A Raja, DMK leader Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi and 17 others in the 2G spectrum allocation scam on appeals moved by the CBI and the ED against their acquittal by a special court last year.
Justice SP Garg issued notice to all persons once accused of various roles in the 2G scam.
While the ED had moved the high court challenging the special court’s December 21 order of acquittal in the money laundering case, the CBI moved an appeal only on Wednesday.
While issuing notice, the high court ordered that status quo would be maintained with regard to properties attached by the ED in the Prevention of Money Laundering cases.
The CBI had in its “well-choreographed” charge sheet, termed so by the special judge in his order, running into several thousand pages said the illegality in the grant of 2G spectrum had caused a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer wherein Swan Telecom was favoured in lieu of illegal gratification.
Special judge OP Saini, however, acquitted Raja, Kanimozhi, and 15 others accused by the CBI, including former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja's former private secretary RK Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd. MD Sanjay Chandra and three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group - Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair.
The special court had acquitted all accused, including Raja, saying there was no material on record to link him with the Rs 200-crore illegal gratification and that the CBI had nowhere suggested to any witness that the amount was kickback in the first place.
Meanwhile, the ED had registered case alleging that Rs 200 crore was paid by Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd to DMK-run Kalaignar TV and there was a reverse money trail after the lid blew off the scam.
However, the court acquitted all accused in this case too which included Raja, Kanimozhi, M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom Private Limited, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd., film producer Karim Morani, P Amirtham and director of Kalaignar TV Sharad Kumar.
The special court had in its order of acquittal made several scathing observations against the probe and the prosecution.
“In the beginning, the prosecution started with the case with great enthusiasm and ardour. However, as the case progressed, it became highly cautious and guarded in its attitude making it difficult to find out as to what prosecution wanted to prove. However, by the end, the quality of prosecution totally deteriorated and it became directionless and diffident,” it had said.
“I have absolutely no hesitation in holding that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove any charge against any of the accused, made in its well-choreographed charge sheet,” judge Saini had noted.