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Opinion: 2G scam was more hype, less substance

The accused had included former telecom minister A Raja and DMK minister Kanimozhi.? Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Dec 21, 2017, 10.15 AM (IST) Written By: Gaurav Gupta

WION: How do you receive this judgment as a citizen and as a lawyer


GG: Frankly, if you look at it from a citizen's point of view, it is shocking. If you look at it from a lawyer's point of view, there were various holes on the CAG's theory, CBI's theory. Thus, I am shocked and not so shocked at the same time.


Everyone was expecting the conviction of someone. I mean acquittal of everyone was not expected. There were money trail that were established.  The Enforcement Directorate has clearly established links between the bank accounts and money flowing back and forth. 


I wouldn't say there was no case.


WION: Was it a badly argued case?


GG: I wouldn't say badly argued. I wouldn't say that the Prosecution did a bad job. I would say, it was not as big a loss, as big a case, or it wasn't as sensational as everyone was claiming from the word go.


WION: Did the court make a difference between criminality and civil offense


GG: Yes. There were lapses in decision making, which can at best be an administrative lapse. To prove criminality, you have to show something beyond reasonable doubt. If you are trying a person for life, you have to show something beyond reasonable and that was not meted in this case. 


The government did say, the Raza was the mastermind and all his motives were actuated by the motive of illegal bribery and gratification that he had taken. This illegal gratification of bribery is what the CBI has failed to establish. They have failed to establish the lapses of Raza, if there was one, was part of illegal gratification. 


WION: So, what went wrong with the case? Many would say that this verdict shows that as if nothing has happened. 


GG: If you believe in the judgement then you have to say that this was the propaganda by the Opposition. Today, as a lawyer, as a citizen, I cannot travel beyond the judgement. 


WION: As a lawyer, do you think there were any glaring legal loopholes through which some slipped away?


GG: From the very beginning what Mr Rai was saying of losses of 1.76 crores that was junked by the CBI. The CBI said that can't be the magnitude. It is about one-sixth of that. Then when it came to court proceedings, the CBI was unable to show how 30,000 crores was also lost by the public exchequer. So, yes there was more hype, less substance. 


WION: Do you think the UPA government was victimised unnecessarily 


GG: As a lawyer, I have to confine myself to what has come out in the judgement. If the judgement says, what it says is right, then yes. 


All the hype about the UPA government tenure being completely tainted by scandal, you have to remember, one scam came to symbolise all the ills of UPA-2. If the judgement is held to be correct, there was some victimisation.