The much awaited alleged 2G scam verdict was finally out today. A special CBI court acquitted all accused, including former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, in the 2G spectrum allocation scam cases. All of the 19 accused were acquitted of all charges in the Enforcement Directorate’s money laundering case which comes under the gamut of the 2G scam case.
Details of the judgement are yet awaited but Congress, which was at the helm of the Government when the alleged scam took place, re-iterated its “zero loss”, no scam theory. Congress leader Kapil Sibal stated:
This verdict is both a moral and legal victory for the Congress Party. I have been saying all along that this was not a scam. It was a scam by Vinod Rai.
P Chidambaram said:
Allegation of a major scam involving the highest levels of Government was never true, was not correct and that has been established today.
NDTV reporter former PM Manmohan Singh as saying:
— Suparna Singh (@Suparna_Singh) December 21, 2017
It is pertinent to note here that although the special CBI Court has reportedly declared the above, the Supreme Court had in 2012 itself declared that the allocation of 2G spectrum by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was “illegal” and was an example of the arbitrary exercise of power. It had then cancelled all 122 telecom licences allotted on or after January 10, 2008 to 11 companies during the tenure of the former telecom minister, A. Raja.
The details of the judgement are awaited, but one lawyer on social media put forth a possible explanation:
Said this long back… Proving a criminal case beyond reasonable doubt in 2G was doubtful… #2GVerdict was expected… Outrage meaningless.
— Anirban Roy (@AnirbanFromRLF) December 21, 2017
Meanwhile, Congress was obviously expected to tow the “no scam” line and attack Vinod Rai, some “journalists” too seemed to parrot the same line:
If there was no 2G scam we need to ask tough questions of Vinod Rai
— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) December 21, 2017
Vinod Rai was either delusional or like Doval working to ensure Bjp wins the election! #2gverdict
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) December 21, 2017
Notional loss. Waived off, as they say in telecom industry.
Vinod Rai’s reality must come out. Man caused so much havoc.
— Ankur Bhardwaj (@Bhayankur) December 21, 2017
We have spent years agonising about this “scam” and imagining vast sums exchanged hands (thanks to Vinod Rai). What happens now?
— Mihir Sharma (@mihirssharma) December 21, 2017
The man who has a lot of questions to answer today is Vinod Rai.
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) December 21, 2017
Somebody pls set up another super-empowered, Court-monitored committee under Venerable Vinod Rai to find his 1.76 lakh cr. India has wasted a decade searching for it, devastated telecom businesses
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) December 21, 2017
It was quite amusing to see journalist question the existence of a scam (on which the Supreme Court had already ruled), just because a lower court had acquitted the accused. Just because a murder accused stands acquitted, does a journalist claim that the murder itself did not take place? Instead of questioning the prosecution or the courts, or in fact waiting for the full judgement, some journalists as above jumped on to the Congress line of though: attack Vinod Rai and declare that the scam never existed.
Understandably, social media users gave fitting responses to such so-called unbiased “journalists”:
Modi given clean chit by SC monitored SIT
Nidhi – We will question Supreme Court too.
Lower court acquits 2G accused
Nidhi – https://t.co/8n30EuMbmE
— Spaminder Bharti (@attomeybharti) December 21, 2017
— Radhika✦Apostate (@RpG_89) December 21, 2017
The original anti-corruption crusader reminded us of history:
Congis and Allies celebrated JJ HC acquittal. Then in SC got deflated. Same will be here.
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) December 21, 2017
Journalists who had played a pivotal role in breaking the 2G scam reacted as below:
Such a BAD Judgment – all 2G accused acquitted!!!!! CBI and ED should appeal
— J Gopikrishnan (@jgopikrishnan70) December 21, 2017
Supreme Court realised the gravity of the Raja scam and cancelled the licenses but @KapilSibal will have us believe a trial court knows better. Sad to see reputed TV channels lapping up Sibal’s ‘arguments’
— Sunil Jain (@thesuniljain) December 21, 2017
Other journalists put out a completely different perspective, compared to those who readily toed Congress’s line of thought:
Even if the CBI and ED appeal against this verdict, which is very likely, the media has chosen its narrative: Question the very existence of a scam and tarnish the messenger i.e. Vinod Rai, then then CAG. This, even before reading the verdict and understanding what went wrong: Was the prosecution’s case weak or sabotaged? Was the evidence insufficient to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt, considering the burden of proof is higher in criminal cases? Was justice subverted by powerful politicians or businessmen? No, stupid, there was no scam!