Vinod Rai, BJP should apologise to the nation: Kapil Sibal

Vinod Rai, BJP should apologise to the nation: Kapil Sibal

Demanding apology from former CAG Vinod Rai and the BJP, Congress MP and former telecom minister Kapil Sibal said today that his stand on loss from 2G spectrum allocation stands vindicated.

"I have been saying from day one that there was no loss and I have been vindicated today. In fact, it is Vinod Rai who must apologise to the nation.

"It is (the then) opposition who must apologise to the nation," Sibal told reporters after a special court in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case acquitted all the accused.

Former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi were today acquitted by a special court in the 2G spectrum scam case. Fifteen others accused in the case and three companies were also acquitted.

"One thing is clear... the allegation of a major scam involving the highest levels of government was never true and not correct and that has been established," former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said.

The BJP was the main opposition party at the time when the Congress-led UPA government came under fire from it and others over the allocation of the spectrum without auction.

Former Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Rai had calculated that 2G spectrum allocation in 2008 -- under the UPA regime when Raja was the telecom minister -- led to a notional loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer.

"There was no case from the beginning. In fact, it was a scam of lies, there was no scam on our part. We did it in accordance with a policy prescription that we had at that point in time," Sibal said.

Responding to query on the Supreme Court judgement of February 2012 which cancelled 122 telecom licences that were allocated spectrum in 2008, Sibal said that the apex court passed the judgement in its attempt to do the best it could do in the interest of the nation, and it was a wrong decision.

"That (SC cancelling telecom licences) was also a wrong decision. The fact that the Supreme Court rendered a decision doesn't mean that is necessarily right.

"In fact, the kind of environment created by the media, the opposition, by Vinod Rai... The telecom sector is in the dire state today and this is entirely because of Vinod Rai and opposition (at that time)," Sibal said.

The Supreme Court, after cancelling 122 telecom licences, had ordered the allocation of the spectrum through auction.

The government has held four spectrum auctions till date. However, the industry has been seeking a reduction in the spectrum prices.

In the last auction, DoT had put up 2,354.55 Mhz of spectrum for auction in 2016 across seven bands at a cumulative base price of Rs 5.6 lakh crore. Out of this, bids worth Rs 65,789 crore were received for 964.8 Mhz spectrum.

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