Sanjay Pugalia, The Quint’s Editorial Director, decodes the 2G verdict
Breaking Views: 2G Case Exposed Agencies & Gave Cong Another Shot
The verdict in the 2G spectrum case by Special Judge OP Saini of the CBI court came as a shock to the nation. The verdict is a major turning point in the country’s politics. Congress gets a clean chit – it cleans UPA of one of their ‘biggest sins’.
On the other hand, the verdict is a major setback for the BJP-led government at the Centre. This is because when in opposition, the 2G spectrum scam was a major weapon of BJP’s political campaign against the UPA government.
In his verdict, Judge Saini criticised the CBI in the harshest words. He says that the documents presented before him aren’t enough to prove the CBI’s case. The 30,000-page chargesheet was a summary of speculation and allegations. The court went on to state that the CBI was unable to prove that there was even a scam in 2G spectrum allocation.
Political Fuel for Congress Ahead of 2019?
The alleged 2G scam played a major role in Congress losing the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. It became the ‘poster boy’ of BJP’s campaign against a ‘corrupt’ UPA government. But now, it is Congress’ turn. They now feel that they have been granted a huge shot at an image makeover.
After closely fought Gujarat elections, Congress has to defend its fort in Karnataka Assembly elections. They will try to de-link themselves from the image of a ‘corrupt party’.
After that, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh will go to polls in October 2018. These polls are considered a kind of semifinals before the 2019 general election and Congress will try to get rid of the ‘corruption’ tag during these.
But BJP will not sit silently. They will challenge the verdict in higher court.
Other than politics, what are the implications that this verdict would have?
1. Constitutional Institutions Stand Exposed
The verdict raises a big question on the working standard of the agencies. This incident is a clear example that the agencies failed to deliver on their duties. From CBI to ED to Department of Telecommunication to Supreme Court, everyone had their own take on the issue. What was the result?
Eight years ago, under the tenure of UPA 1, CAG put forward a theory of Rs 1.76 lakh crore scam. After this, politicians picked up the issue. Then, the Supreme Court cancelled the spectrum allocation.
CBI conducted their investigation based on CAG’s theory for years, but in the end, the court said that the pages after pages were filled with allegations, but no substantial evidence was presented.
2. Bank and Telecom Sector Were Ruined
The verdict says a lot in itself. It shows that our agencies work on an ad hoc basis. Just because of these allegations, the telecommunications industry was hurt badly. Banks lost loans worth crores of rupees because the telecom companies suffered a major loss.
On top of that, consumers also suffered major losses.
3. Who Makes the Policies?
A question that comes up is how to make government policies without raising many questions. Why should the decision on whether a policy is right or wrong be made in courts? There should be a better way to determine it.
4. Will This Bring an End to Political Mud Slinging?
The biggest question is, will this verdict be a lesson to those who indulge in political mudslinging? Political parties rarely act in a responsible manner and one must not expect them to. The burden of being the watchdog lies with the public and media.
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