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Millennium Post

No stops for investigation

Bail for former telecom minister, A Raja, was expected as bail is a part of judicial routine. The court could not have denied bail to Raja except in exceptional circumstances which were not prevalent. Therefore, his getting out of jail is not a matter of surprise. What is important, now that Raja is out on bail, is that the investigation into the 2G Spectrum Scam and the judicial cases continue unabated and without fear or favour. The only danger with Raja out and on the large is that he is in a position to influence the outcome of any investigations into this large-scale swindle of public money. This should not be allowed to happen. It cannot be forgotten that Raja belongs to a powerful political party that has influence over the central government, which controls the investigative agencies. The spectrum scam involves many for Raja could not have operated alone. Among Raja’s backers are prominent political figures the full extent of whose role is not in the public domain and has not become known. It is in the interests of many that any investigation into the scam be buried. It would be a pity if the investigation is not able to get to the bottom of the scam.

The 2G scam is among the largest swindles of public money anywhere in the world and estimates of the actual loss to the public exchequer vary, though it could be as large as Rs 30,984.55, as estimated by the Central Bureau of Investigation, if not more.

It is to be noted that Raja had the support of the government for a very long time despite the allegations against him. It was only when the Supreme Court cracked down on the 2G scam by declaring the allotment of spectrum as ‘unconstitutional and arbitrary’ and quashed all the 122 licenses issued in 2008 during tenure of Raja that matters became serious. The court had then said that  Raja ‘wanted to favour some companies at the cost of the public exchequer’ and had ‘virtually
gifted away important national asset’. The government’s investigation and reactions to the  investigation, have, therefore, not been what they should have been and are a subject of debate. There should now be no concerted effort to bury the case against Raja and there should be no attempt towards a cover-up. The public in India fully deserves to know what exactly transpired with regard to the allocation of spectrum. Corruption, especially, of this scale cannot be tolerated. No efforts should therefore be spared to go ahead with the investigations and the guilty should be punished to the full extent of the law.
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