New Delhi: A Special Court on Thursday virtually demolishing the entire 2G scam theory said the entire case was based on rumour, gossip and speculation, also said that some people exaggerated figures to "astronomical levels".
The court's observations are seen as indictment of former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai and embarrassment for the ruling BJP, then in opposition, which made a mountain out of a molehill to malign the image of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the erstwhile UPA government.
"My seven-year wait for evidence ended “all in vain” because the case was mainly based on “rumour, gossip and speculation", Special Judge OP Saini, who oversaw the trial of all 2G spectrum cases since early 2011, said on Thursday, while acquitting all the 19 accused.
“For the last about seven years, on all working days, summer vacation included, I religiously sat in the open court from 10 am to 5 pm, awaiting for someone with some legally admissible evidence in his possession but all in vain,” Saini said in his 1,552-page judgment.
“Not a single soul turned up. This indicates that everybody was going by public perception created by rumour, gossip and speculation. However, public perception has no place in judicial proceedings", he added.
Justice Saini said that the Department of Telecom (DoT) had lost its credibility by the time the news reports about wrongful losses to public money had started pouring in.
He said that on account of various actions and inactions of the DoT officials, nobody believed the version of DoT "and a huge scam was seen by everyone where there was none."
"These factors compelled people to conjecture about a big scam. Thus, some people created a scam by artfully arranging a few selected facts and exaggerating things beyond recognition to astronomical levels", he said.
It was alleged that 2G spectrum was allotted to mobile companies at below market prices causing huge losses to the government when Raja was the communications minister. He had to resign last month due to the scandal that DMK leaders admit has embarrassed the party.
Justice Sainin however said, "There is no material on record to show that A Raja was the mother lode of conspiracy in the instant case. There is also no evidence of his no-holds-barred immersion in any wrongdoing, conspiracy or corruption."