Kommineni Srinivasa Rao
2G Spectrum case is one of the biggest scams to rock the UPA boat. The case came to the fore after CAG stated that had the spectrum auction done in a transparant manner, the Government could have ended up with a massive revenue of the order of Rs 1,76,000 Crore. This was lapped up by the CPM with Sitaram Yechuri shooting off a missive. It was then followed up by the BJP, which put the Government on the backfoot. The Manmohan Singh Government had to order a CBI probe, possibly with Sonia Gandhi's tacit backing.
Seven years later, the special CBI court had stuck off the case. The Congress broke into celebratory mode. But, why did they fail to handle the case in the first place? Why did they not take Vinod Rai, the then auditor general, to task then? It is indeed foolish to say that Vinod Rai had conspired to tarnish the UPA. The then telecom minister A Raja spent a year-and-a-half in prison and DMK supremo's daughter dear Kanimozhi too spent months behnd the bars. Even now, the CBI can approach a higher court.
But, what one need to look at the way the CBI conducted itself and the way it conducted the investigation. The hon'ble judge has made stinging comments on the CBI invesigation. This only shows how shoddy the investigation was.
In our Telugu states too, we have seen how the CBI functions. Why it leaves some people and why it targets someone else is beyond reason. Some cases were foisted in such a way that it looked as though setting up of an industry was their sole crime. The common man has come to believe that the CBI is a political tool in the hands of the powers that be.
There are questions on the CAG too. Did CAG make these sweeping comments without taking into cognisance the overarching changes in the field of technology? A Raja had always argued that the Central telecom policy, which was blamed all these years, was actually responsible in bringing down mobile prices and in making them available to the common man. There may have been some corruption. But, can CAG come up with wholly imaginary, if not cooked up, figures to quantify the loss?If CAG's figures are right, why did the CBI fail to prove them?
It is important that constitutional bodies too should have accountability. Also, a clear-cut policy needs to be evolved as to which of the CAG castigations be probed. For instance, CAG has said that there was corruption to a tune of Rs 400 crore in Pattiseema project. This is a comment on the spending of the TDP Government. In case of spectrum, it was an imaginary assessment of loss. If there was a probe in 2G Spectrum, why was there no probe in case of Pattiseema? Hence, a proper policy needs to be evolved. Otherwise, these would be used only to wreak political vengeance. The people are being put behind the bars without any proper case. Who will compensate if they are proved innocent later. There must be clarity about bail provisions too. Otherwise, there is bound to be criticism of the legal system. It must be said that even the judiciary is not above criticism in this. The common man does not have confidence that judiciary too is free of political influences. What we need now is a complete overhaul. Then and then alone, there will be a permanent solution. Whether this will happen? Your guess is as good as mine!!