A special CBI court brought a huge sigh of relief to former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and several others in the much-anticipated 2G spectrum allocation scam case by acquitting all of them.
The trial in 2G spectrum scam started six years ago in 2011 after the court had framed charges against 17 accused in the CBI case for offenses that entailed punishment ranging from six months to life imprisonment.
Special CBI judge O P Saini pronounced the judgments in separate cases lodged by the CBI and the ED in the infamous 2G scam which rocked the UPA government.
Here is the timeline of the 2G spectrum case:
-21 December, 2017: Raja, Kanimozhi, 17 others acquitted in ED's 2G case
-21 December, 2017: Special court to pronounce judgements
-25 October, 2017: Special Court adjourns case to November 7, says it may decide the date of judgement on that day.
-19 April,2017: Special court concludes arguments
-07 October,2016: Entitled to be acquitted in 2G case: Kanimozhi
-03 November,2015: SC rejects Kanimozhi's plea to quash charges against her
-30 September,2015: SC dismisses Essar promoters' plea
-19 August 2015: CBI files assets case against Raja
-01 June 2015: Kalaignar TV got Rs 200 crores through 2G scam, says ED
# CBI files assets case against Raja
-10 November 2014: Final hearing from December 19.
-31 October 2014: Charges framed in 2G-linked case
-05 May 2014: Court records statement of Raja, who "Acted with the Prime Minister's concurrence"
-25 April 2014: 2G kickback case: ED chargesheets Raja, Kanimozhi
-09 December 2013: Amid protests, JPC report on 2G tabled in Lok Sabha
# Charges framed
-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.
-24 Apr 2012: SC reserves order on the maintainability of the plea for probe against Chidambaram in the 2G spectrum case
-04 Apr 2012: SC begins hearing plea against Chidambaram
-01 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.
-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
-04 Feb 2012: Special Court dismisses Swamy's plea to make Chidambaram a co-accused
-02 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
-02 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.
-12 Dec 2011: CBI files third charge sheet. 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.
-01 Dec 2011: Chandolia gets bail from special court
-29 Nov 2011: Special court grants bail to Shahid Balwa
-28 Nov 2011: Delhi HC grants bail to Kanimozhi, Kumar, Morani, Asif and Rajiv
-23 Nov 2011: SC grants bail to 5 corporate executives - Nair, Doshi, Pipara, Chandra and Goenka
-11 Nov 2011: Trial begins
# Trial begins against 17 accused
- 23 Oct 2011: Charges framed against all 17 accused.
- 25 April 2011: CBI files second chargesheet naming DMK chief M Karunanidhi's daughter and MP Kanimozhi, 4 others
- 02 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
-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
-14 March 2011: Delhi HC sets up special court to deal exclusively with 2G cases
-17-18 Feb 2011: Raja sent to Tihar Jail under judicial custody. Balwa jailed as well
-10 Feb 2011: Raja remanded to CBI custody for four more days by a special CBI court along with Balwa
# Raja sent to jail, CBI names Kanimozhi
-14-15 Nov 2010: Raja resigns as Telecom Minister. Kapil Sibal given additional charge of Telecom Ministry.
-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
-10 Nov 2010: CAG submits report on 2G spectrum to govt stating loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to exchequer
-Oct 2010: SC asks govt to respond to CAG report about the scam, pulls up CBI for its tardy progress in probe
-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
#SC pulls up CBI, Raja resigns
-24 Sept 2010: Swamy moves SC seeking direction to PM to sanction prosecution of Raja.
-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
-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
-May 2010: Government constitutes GoM for allocation of 3G spectrum, reducing DoT under Raja as mere implementing body
-6 May 2010: Telephonic conversation between Raja and Radia made public
-31 Mar 2010: CAG report notes "whole process of issue of licence lacked fairness and transparency"
# Radia tapes go Public
-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.
-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
-22 Oct 2009: CBI raids DoT offices
-21 Oct 2009: CBI files FIR against "unknown officers of DoT and unknown private persons/companies and others"
-1 July 2009: Single judge of Delhi HC holds change of cut-off date as illegal
2009: CVC directs CBI to investigate the matter
-4 May 2009: NGO Telecom Watchdog complains to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on the illegalities in the 2G spectrum allocation to Loop Telecom
-2008: Swan Telecom, Unitech and Tata Teleservices sell a part of their stakes at much higher rates to Etisalat, Telenor and DoCoMo respectively
-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
# Telecom watchdog complains against illegalities
-22 Nov 2007: Finance Ministry writes to DoT raising concerns over the procedure adopted.
-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
-1 Oct 2007: DoT receives 575 applications by 46 firms
25 Sept 2007: Telecom Ministry issues press note on deadline for application being 1 October 2007
-Aug 2007: Department of Telecom (DoT) initiates process of allotment of 2G Spectrum and UAS Licences
-May 2007: A Raja takes over as Telecom Minister
# Process of allotment of 2G Spectrum begins under A Raja