2G Spectrum Case: A Timeline of Major Events

The verdict on the 2G Spectrum Scam is set to be delivered on 25 October.

5 min read

The verdict on the 2G Spectrum Scam is set to be delivered on 25 October.

(A special court is all set to pronounce its verdict on the 2G scam that rocked the UPA government in 2011. This story has been republished from The Quint’s archives in light of the expected verdict on 21 December.)

The verdict on the 2G Spectrum Scam is set to be delivered on 25 October. The scam involves politicians and other government officials who are believed to have made cheap deals with telecom companies for the allocation for licenses.

Here’s a chronology of events that traces the history of the massive scam.

Process of Allotment of 2G Spectrum Begins Under A Raja

May 2007: A Raja takes over as Telecom Minister

Aug 2007: Department of Telecom (DoT) initiates process of allotment of 2G Spectrum and UAS Licences

25 Sept 2007: Telecom Ministry issues press note on deadline for application being 1 October 2007

1 Oct 2007: DoT receives 575 applications by 46 firms

2 Nov 2007: PM writes to Raja to ensure fair licence allocation and proper fee revision; Raja writes back to PM allegedly rejecting many of his suggestions

22 Nov 2007: Finance Ministry writes to DoT raising concerns over the procedure adopted

Telecom Watchdog Complains Against Illegalities

10 Jan 2008: DoT decides to issue licences on first-come-first-serve basis, advancing cut-off date to 25 Sept. DoT later says those who would apply between 3:30 and 4:30 pm would be issued licences

2008: Swan Telecom, Unitech and Tata Teleservices sell a part of their stakes at much higher rates to Etisalat, Telenor and DoCoMo respectively

4 May 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 CBI to investigate the matter

1 July 2009: Single judge of Delhi HC holds change of cut-off date as illegal

21 Oct 2009: CBI files FIR against “unknown officers of DoT and unknown private persons/companies and others”

22 Oct 2009: CBI raids DoT offices

16 Nov 2009: CBI seeks help from DG of Income Tax for information on lobbyist Niira Radia and records pertaining to middlemen in awarding 2G spectrum licences

20 Nov 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

Radia Tapes Go Public

31 Mar 2010: CAG report notes “whole process of issue of licence lacked fairness and transparency”

6 May 2010: Telephonic conversation between Raja and Radia made public

May 2010: Government constitutes GoM for allocation of 3G spectrum, reducing DoT under Raja as mere implementing body

18 Aug 2010: HC refuses to direct PM to decide on Janata Party chief Swamy’s complaint seeking sanction to prosecute Raja for his alleged involvement in the 2G scam

13 Sept 2010: SC asks govt, Raja to reply within 10 days to three petitions alleging a Rs 70,000 crore scam in the grant of telecom licences in 2008

24 Sept 2010: Swamy moves SC seeking direction to PM to sanction prosecution of Raja

SC Pulls up CBI, Raja Resigns

27 Sept 2010: Enforcement Directorate informs SC of probe against firms suspected to have violated FEMA, says can’t deny or confirm Raja’s involvement in the scam

Oct 2010: SC asks govt to respond to CAG report about the scam, pulls up CBI for its tardy progress in probe

10 Nov 2010: CAG submits report on 2G spectrum to govt stating loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to exchequer

11 Nov 2010: DoT files affidavit in SC; says CAG did not have the authority to question the policy decision as per which licences were issued to new players in 2008

14-15 Nov 2010: Raja resigns as Telecom Minister. Kapil Sibal given additional charge of Telecom Ministry

Raja Sent to Jail, CBI Names Kanimozhi

10 Feb 2011: Raja remanded to CBI custody for four more days by a special CBI court along with Balwa

17-18 Feb 2011: Raja sent to Tihar Jail under judicial custody. Balwa jailed as well

14 March 2011: Delhi HC sets up special court to deal exclusively with 2G cases

29 March 2011: SC permits CBI to file chargesheet on 2 April instead of 31 March; two more persons — Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal arrested

2 April 2011: CBI files its first chargesheet. Names Raja, Chandolia and Behura. Reliance ADAG Group 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 Ltd Sanjay Chandra as accused. Three companies — Reliance Telecom Ltd, Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd — also chargesheeted

25 April 2011: CBI files second chargesheet naming DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s daughter and MP Kanimozhi, 4 others

23 Oct 2011: Charges framed against all 17 accused

Trial Begins Against 17 Accused

11 Nov 2011: Trial begins

23 Nov 2011: SC grants bail to 5 corporate executives — Nair, Doshi, Pipara, Chandra and Goenka

28 Nov 2011: Delhi HC grants bail to Kanimozhi, Kumar, Morani, Asif and Rajiv

29 Nov 2011: Special court grants bail to Shahid Balwa

1 Dec 2011: Chandolia gets bail from special court

12 Dec 2011: CBI files third chargesheet. Names Essar Group promoters Anshuman and Ravi Ruia, its director (Strategy and Planning) Vikas Saraf, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan and her husband I P Khaitan. Also chargesheets Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding

SC Cancels 122 Licences, Swamy Moves SC Against Chidambaram

2 Feb 2012: SC cancels 122 licences granted during Raja's tenure. Directs auctioning of licences in 4 months; SC leaves it to the special court to decide on Chidambaram within 2 weeks.

2 Feb 2012: SC refuses to ask CBI to probe role of Chidambaram in 2G case and leaves it to the Special Court to decide the matter

4 Feb 2012: Special Court dismisses Swamy's plea to make Chidambaram a co-accused

23 Feb 2012: Swamy moves SC against the trial court order on Chidambaram. NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation also files application seeking probe against Chidambaram

1 Mar 2012: Plea against Chidambaram and Law Minister Salman Khurshid for their alleged role in the 2G spectrum scam is listed for hearing in the SC

4 Apr 2012: SC begins hearing plea against Chidambaram

24 Apr 2012: SC reserves order on the maintainability of the plea for probe against Chidambaram in the 2G spectrum case

24 Aug 2012: SC dismisses plea for probe against Chidambaram in the 2G case, says no prima facie material to show that Chidambaram got pecuniary benefits

Charges Framed

9 December 2013: Amid protests, JPC report on 2G tabled in Lok Sabha

25 April 2014: 2G kickback case: ED chargesheets Raja, Kanimozhi

5 May 2014: Court records statement of Raja, who “Acted with the Prime Minister’s concurrence”

31 October 2014: Charges framed in 2G-linked case

10 November 2014: Final hearing from December 19

CBI Files Assets Case Against Raja

1 June 2015: Kalaignar TV got Rs 200 crores through 2G scam, says ED

19 August 2015: CBI files assets case against Raja

30 September 2015: SC dismisses Essar promoters’ plea

3 November 2015: SC rejects Kanimozhi’s plea to quash charges against her

7 October 2016: Entitled to be acquitted in 2G case: Kanimozhi

19 April 2017: Special court concludes arguments

(With inputs from PTI)

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