The ghost of 2G Scam

It is unusual for an accused turning accuser and accusing the man who initially accused him. But this has happened in the 2G Spectrum Scam case. After he and twenty other accused in the case were acquitted by a Special CBI Court last month for lack of evidence, former Telecom Minister A. Raja of the DMK has trained his guns on former CAG Vinod Rai and demanded his prosecution. Raja has attributed the putative loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore arrived at by the former CAG in the allocation of spectrums to ‘malicious vigilantism’ and a ‘conspiracy to kill the UPA-II Government’. While standing by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Raja has said that “the Government headed by him did not back him (PM) up.” He has not clarified which people he was alluding to.
The Congress, at the time the scandal broke, had maintained that the figure of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore as stated by the former CAG was not based on facts. But the main Opposition party and the section of the media controlled by it blew it up as a major scandal in the run up to the 2014 general elections. The ‘scam’ was one of the factors that contributed to the Congress defeat. If the CBI has failed to place evidence before the court to pin the charges on the accused, it has not only brought a great deal of embarrassment to the present Government but also damaged its own credibility and given credence to its ‘caged parrot’ image before the people.
Raja has thrown an open challenge to Vinod Rai to join him in a public debate. The ex-CAG has not responded yet but he does owe an explanation to the people. Was the whole thing a mare’s nest that only damaged the reputation of several politicians, bureaucrats and corporate heads and led to a totally unnecessary, avoidable and lengthy trial that ended up in smoke? The people have a right to know. If there was no documentary evidence strong enough to obtain the conviction of the accused from the trial court, then questions are bound to be raised as to what was the purpose of initiating the prosecution? Was there a political angle to the alleged scam which aimed at influencing the ensuing elections? The CBI has, of course, said that it would go on appeal, meaning that the case will drag on for some more time but will the end be any different from what has happened in the CBI court?

Wednesday, 31 January, 2018