Judgement day in 2G case
The special CBI court, which completed its hearing in the 2G spectrum case in April, is likely to deliver its verdict on Saturday (today). Former Union minister A Raja, former DMK Rajya Sabha MP K. Kanimozhi, and 15 others are accused in the scandal that battered the then UPA government at the Centre and tainted it with corruption charges. Below is a timeline of the case.
Sept 25, 2007: Telecom ministry issues press note fixing deadline for application as October 1, 2007.
Oct 1, 2007: Department of Telecommunications (DoT) receives 575 applications by 46 firms.
Nov 2, 2007: PM Manmohan Singh writes to Raja to ensure fair licence allocation and proper revision of fee. Raja writes to PM allegedly rejecting many of his recommendations.
Nov 22, 2007: Finance ministry writes to DoT raising concerns over the procedure adopted.
Jan 10, 2008: DoT decides to issue licences on first-come-first-served basis, preponing the cut-off date to Sept 25. Later in the day, DoT says those who apply between 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm would be issued licences.
2008: Swan Telecom, Unitech and Tata Teleservices sell off a part of their stakes at much higher rates to Etisalat, Telenor and DoCoMo respectively.
May 4, 2009: NGO Telecom Watchdog complains to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on the illegalities in the 2G spectrum allocation to Loop Telecom.
2009: CVC directs Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the matter.
July 1, 2009: Single judge bench of Delhi high court holds change of cut-off date as illegal.
Oct 21, 2009: CBI files FIR against “unknown officers of DoT and unknown private persons/companies and others”.
Oct 22, 2009: CBI raids DoT offices.
Nov 16, 2009: CBI seeks help from Directorate General of Income Tax for information on lobbyist Niira Radia and records pertaining to middlemen in award of 2G spectrum licences.
Nov 20, 2009: Information by IT dept shows role of corporate players in influencing policies of DoT via illegal means. Shows Radia directly in touch with Raja.
May 2010: Government constitutes GoM for allocation of 3G spectrum, reducing DoT under Raja as mere implementing body.
Aug 18, 2010: High Court (HC) refuses to direct PM to decide on a complaint by Janata Party chief Swamy seeking sanction to prosecute Raja for his alleged involvement in 2G scam.
Sept 13, 2010: Supreme Court (SC) asks government, Raja to reply within 10 days to three petitions alleging an Rs 70,000 crore scam in the grant of telecom licences in 2008.
Sept 24, 2010: Swamy moves SC seeking direction to PM to sanction prosecution of Raja.
Sept 27, 2010: Enforcement Directorate informs SC of probe against firms suspected to have violated FEMA. Says can’t deny or confirm now Raja’s involvement in the scam.
Nov 10, 2010: Comptroller and auditor general (CAG) submits report on 2G spectrum to government stating loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to exchequer.
Nov 11, 2010: DoT files affidavit in SC; says CAG did not have the authority to question the policy decision as per which licence were issued to new players in 2008.
Nov 14-15, 2010: Raja resigns as Telecom Minister. Kapil Sibal was given additional charge of Telecom ministry.
Feb 10, 2011: SC asks CBI to bring under its scanner corporate houses which were beneficiaries of the 2G spectrum. Raja remanded to CBI custody for four more days by a special CBI court along with Balwa.
Feb 17-18, 2011: Raja sent to Tihar jail under judicial custody. Shahid Balwa of DB Realty and Swan Telecom too jailed.
March 14, 2011: The Delhi High Court sets up special court to deal exclusively with 2G cases.
April 2, 2011: CBI files its first chargesheet, names A Raja, RK Chandolia and Sidharth Behura. Reliance ADAG managing director Gautam Doshi, its senior vice president Hari Nair, Group President Surendra Pipara, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and managing director of Unitech Sanjay Chandra made accused. Three companies – Reliance Telecom, Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd – also mentioned in the chargesheet.
April 25, 2011: CBI files second charge sheet naming DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s daughter and Kanimozhi, and four others.
Oct 23, 2011: Charges framed against all 17 accused.
Nov 11, 2011: Trial begins.
November 23, 2011: Five business executives accused in the 2G case granted bail by SC after spending seven months in judicial custody.
November 28, 2011: After spending more than six months in judicial custody, K Kanimozhi, granted bail by Delhi High Court.
Dec 12, 2011: CBI files third chargesheet, names Essar Group promoters Anshuman and Ravi Ruia, its director Vikas Saraf, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan and her husband I P Khaitan. CBI also files chargesheet against Loop Telecom, Loop Mobile India and Essar Tele Holding.
Feb 2, 2012: SC cancels 122 licences granted during A Raja's tenure. It directs auctioning of licences in four months.
April 2017: Special CBI court concludes hearing in the 2G spectrum case.
A Raja
Four-time DMK MP & Union Cabinet Minister for Environment & Forests (2004) & Communication & Information Technology (2007-2009)
The case: A joint investigative report by the CBI & the Income Tax Department alleged that Raja may have received a Rs 3,000 crore bribe for moving the cut-off date for spectrum applications forward which eliminated many applications, favouring a few applicants.
A CBI charge sheet alleged that Raja conspired with the accused & arbitrarily refined the first-come, first-served policy to ensure that Swan & Unitech received licences. Instead of auctioning 2G spectrum, he sold it at the 2001 rate.
Status: Arrested by the CBI on February 2, 2011. Applied for bail on May 9, 2012, & was granted on May 15, 2012.
M K Kanimozhi
Daughter of DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi and former DMK MP
The case: A CBI charge sheet says that Kanimozhi owns 20% of family-owned Kalaignar TV & notes that she conspired with A Raja to coerce DB Realty cofounder Shahid Balwa to funnel Rs 200 crore to Kalaignar TV. Raja helped the channel get registration and added it to TATA Sky's basket. Kanimozhi was charged with tax evasion by the Income Tax Department in Chennai.
Status: Arrested by the CBI on May 20, 2011. Granted bail on November 28, 2011, after 188 days in custody.
Siddharth Behura
Telecom secretary when the 2G licences were granted
The case: According to the CBI charge sheet, Behura conspired with Raja & several others. Hence, when the application deadline time was deferred from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm, Behura closed counters to block other telecom companies.
Status: Arrested by the CBI on February 2, 2011 & granted bail on May 2, 2012.
RK Chandolia
A Raja’s private secretary when the 2G licences were given
The case: According to the CBI charge sheet Chandolia, like Behura, conspired with Raja & several others. So, when the application deadline time was deferred from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm, he joined Behura in shutting counters to physically block other telecom companies.
Status: Arrested by the CBI on February 2, 2011& was granted bail on May 9, 2012.
Sanjay Chandra
Managing director, Unitech Wireless managing director
The case: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant. Former CBI prosecutor AK Singh was implicated in a taped conversation sharing legal strategy & privileged information with Chandra.
Status: Arrested by the CBI on April 20, 2011 & granted bail on November 24, 2011.
Shahid Balwa
Corporate promoter, DB Realty & Swan Telecom
The case: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant.
Status: Arrested by the CBI on February 8, 2011 & granted bail on November 29, 2011
Asif Balwa
Former director, Kusegaon Fruits & Vegetables
The case: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant.
Status: Arrested by the CBI on March 29, 2011 & granted bail on 28 November 28, 2011.
Karim Morani
Corporate promoter & director, Cineyug Films
The case: According to the Income Tax Department charge sheet, the Morani-owned Cineyug Films was a part of the route used by Shahid Balwa to funnel Rs 200 crore illegally to Kalaignar TV. DB Realty corporate promoters Shahid Balwa & Vinod Goenka transferred Rs 2,09.2 crore to Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables, where Balwa's younger brother Asif was a director. Kusegaon then transferred Rs 200 crore to Cineyug Films, & Morani transferred it to Kalaignar TV.
Status: Arrested by the CBI on May 30, 2011 & granted bail on November 28, 2011
Ravi Ruia
Vice chairman of Essar Group
The case: Criminal conspiracy and cheating
Status: He was charged & later bailed out.
Anshuman Ruia
Director, Essar Group
The case: Criminal conspiracy & cheating.
Status: He was charged and later bailed out.
Gautam Doshi
Managing director, Reliance ADAG
The case: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant.
Status: Arrested by the CBI on April 20, 2011& granted bail on 24 November, as of August 2012 his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.
Surendra Pipara
Former senior vice-president, Reliance ADAG
The case: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant
Status: Arrested by the CBI on April 20, 2011 & granted bail on November 24, 2011.
Vinod Goenka
Managing director, DB Realty & Swan Telecom
The case: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant.
Status: Arrested by the CBI on April 20, 2011 & granted bail on November 24, 2011.
Sharath Kumar
Managing director, Kalaignar TV
The case: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant.
Status: Arrested by the CBI on May 20, 2011 & granted bail on November 28, 2011.
Rajiv Agarwal
Director, Kusegaon Fruits & Vegetables
The case: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant.
Status: Arrested by the CBI on March 29, 2011 & granted bail on November 28, 2011.
Hari Nair
Former senior vice-president, Reliance ADAG
Status: Arrested by the CBI on April 20, 2011 and granted bail on November 24, 2011.
Unitech Wireless
The case: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, cheating & forgery
Reliance Telecom
The case: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant & cheating
Swan Telecom
The case: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant & cheating
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