Court frames charges against A. Raja, Kanimozhi and 16 other in 2G scam

Court frames charges against A. Raja, Kanimozhi and 16 other in 2G scamNew Delhi: Charges had been framed against former telecom minister A. Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi, DMK chief Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal and 15 other by a special court on Friday for money laundering in 2G spectrum scam.

Lawyer of accused, Vijay Aggarwal said, “Charges framed against individuals and companies in money laundering case of 200 crores. All the accused have pleaded not guilty. The trial is going to continue.”

The accused have been charged under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act in the 2G scam.

The 2G spectrum scam involved both politicians and government officials in India illegally undercharging mobile telephone companies for frequency allocation licenses, which they would then use to create 2G spectrum subscriptions for cell phones.

The shortfall between the money collected and the money that the law mandated to be collected is estimated to be Rs.1766.45 billion (USD 29 billion), as valued by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) based on 3G and BWA spectrum auction prices in 2010.

The loss was pegged at Rs. 3,09,845.5 million (USD 5.1 billion) according to the chargesheet filed on April 2, 2011, by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Meanwhile the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said on August 19, 2011 in a reply to CBI that the government gained over Rs.30 billion (USD 500 million) by giving away 2G spectrum.

Kapil Sibal, the then Communications and Information Technology Minister, had said that ‘zero loss’ was caused by distributing 2G licenses on first-come-first-served basis.

Notify that the Supreme Court declared the allotment of spectrum as “unconstitutional and arbitrary” and quashed all 122 licenses issued in 2008 during the tenure of A. Raja.

The apex court said that A. Raja “wanted to favour some companies at the cost of the public exchequer” and “virtually gifted away an important national asset.”

Bureau Report

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