Here are the live updates of the 2G spectrum verdict:
Congress leader Anand Sharma said the telecom regulator TRAI had endorsed and recommended the 2G spectrum auction policy. "Public good and common good not necessarily served only by following a particular route... sometimes common good is more important than commercialisation of state's resources. At that that time perhaps this was the guiding principle," Anand Sharma told reporters.
"My firm belief in the rightfulness of my actions as well as my faith in our nation's Justice System has been validated today. All my actions as Telecom Minister had been for the benefit of the masses, to make wireless service more economical and widely available, in line with the National Telecom Policy (NTP) and the recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)," A Raja said in a statement today.
Senior Congress leader PC Chacko today said the special court verdict acquitting former telecom minister A Raja and DMK leader Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum case underlined the stand taken by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the matter, news agency PTI reported. "Today's judgement of honourable CBI court underlines the stand taken by the JPC that the loss calculation (made by Comptroller and Auditor General) is erroneous and presumptive calculation is not correct," Mr Chacko, who headed the JPC that probed the 2G spectrum scam, said.
"We don't want to comment on court's verdict, but it was the SC (Supreme Court) which had said that the whole process was arbitrary and power corridors were taking decisions, so I think nothing more needs to be said," said Manoj Sinha, Minister of State of the Ministry of Communications, reports news agency ANI.
Special CBI Judge OP Saini today rued that despite having "religiously" devoted seven years to 2G scam cases, no "legally admissible evidence" was placed before him by the CBI. The judge made the remark in his verdict acquitting former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK parliamentarian Kanimozhi and several others, including top corporate leaders, in three separate cases probed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate, news agency PTI reported.
"I may also add that 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," Mr Saini said in his 1,552-page verdict in the CBI's case involving Mr Raja and others.
The CBI today said it will appeal in the High Court against the special CBI court verdict giving a clean chit to all accused in the 2G spectrum case and said the court has failed to note in "proper perspective" the prosecution's evidence, news agency IANS reported. "The CBI will be taking necessary legal remedies in the matter and is planning to move to High Court against the special court's verdict in the 2G scam case dated December 21, 2017," a CBI statement said. The remarks came after a special CBI court on Thursday acquitted all the accused in the 2G scam, including then Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK's Kanimozhi.
Will decide future course of action after studying verdict, says CBI
The CBI has said it would study the special court verdict and then decide the future course of action on the case. "We are yet to receive the complete judgement. We will study it, take legal opinion and decide future course of action," CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said.
Company had to pay the price for the case: Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra
Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra said there was no wrong doing on his part but his company had to pay the price for the case foisted on him, hours after the acquittal of the 17 accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case by a special court in Delhi. Anil Ambani led Reliance Group also welcomed the court verdict.
Big day for the DMK family
"We are very happy that justice has prevailed. It is a big day for the DMK family. It is an answer to all the blames & the problems we faced," says Kanimozhi after her acquittal.
"Today, there has been against the accused in the 2G spectrum case by the special judge. Congress leaders are taking this judgement as a badge of honour and a certification that the 2G policy was an honest policy." The Finance Minister further said that in 2008, the spectrum was not given by an auction and that it was being given by the UPA government on 2001 prices which was fixed at 1734 crore.
The matter should be taken to a higher court if the government has concrete evidence, says Anna Hazare.
The acquittal of all the accused by the special court has brought happiness to us. The verdict further proves that there was no wrong done. All this has been proved: MK Stalin, DMK Working President #2GScamVerdictpic.twitter.com/BEJHdZ4EhM- ANI (@ANI) December 21, 2017
All acquitted to furnish bail bond of Rs. 5 lakh each
All acquitted in the 2G spectrum scam case will have to furnish a bail bond of Rs. 5 lakh each. This is done to ensure their presence in a higher appellate court if the verdict is challenged, reports news agency ANI.
Vinod Rai should apologize to the country: Kapil Sibal
"My point has been proved today. There was no corruption, no loss of the state. Vinod Rai should apologize to the country", said Kapil Sibal.
"Court found innocent people have been wronged": Shashi Tharoor
Expressing joy over the acquittal of all the accused in the 2G scam spectrum case, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that "the Court found that innocent people have been wronged. Justice has worked as it is supposed to work in our country."
Allegation of a major scam involving the highest levels of government was never true, was not correct and that has been established today: P Chidambaram
"Victory begins now"
Senior DMK leader Durai Murugan said "conspiracies were hatched against us but all have been blown away now. With political motives this case was put in us" over the acquittal of A Raja and Kanimozhi in the 2G scam case. "Victory begins now," he added.
The Court said that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove any of its charge. Thus all accused are acquitted: Vijay Aggarwal, Lawyer of Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa, Vinod Goenka and others #2GScamVerdictpic.twitter.com/MgWCLKApNE- ANI (@ANI) December 21, 2017
All accused acquitted of all charges
The court acquitted both A Raja and M Kanimozhi in the 2G scam, said to be the biggest scam in India till date and what the Time Magazine called it the biggest example of abuse of executive power after US President Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal. All the other accused in the scam have also been acquitted by court.
2G verdict delayed as hundreds of A Raja supporters arrive at court
Kanimozhi's mother Rajathi Ammal, half-brother MK Alagiri, her husband G Aravindaan and other DMK leaders are also present at the special court.
On November 5, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited ailing DMK chief M Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai. The timing of the visit which triggered speculation on whether the BJP, which has been trying to expand its presence in Tamil Nadu, was considering the DMK as an option to partner with. Read here.
The 2G scam was among the major corruption scandals that came to light during the second term of the UPA government headed by Dr Manmohan Singh.
A Raja arrives at Patiala House Court for the verdict
Kanimozhi arrives at Patiala House Court
Daughter of DMK chief M Karunanidhi and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi arrives at Patiala Court in Delhi. Kanimozhi is also an accused in the case. The CBI has said a Rs. 200-crore bribe paid by a telecom to Mr Raja was deposited in the account of a Chennai-based television channel, which she partly owns. She has, however, denied any wrongdoing. Charges against Kanimozhi include criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant and criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420) and forgery (Sections 468 and 471). She has also been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.