Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday slammed the Congress for treating the 2G spectrum scam case verdict as a “badge of honour”, saying the UPA’s policy of spectrum allocation was “corrupt and dishonest”.
“Congress leaders are treating this judgement as some kind of a badge of honour and a certification that it was an honest policy,” Jaitley told reporters outside Parliament.
“This was a corrupt and dishonest policy, which has already been upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012,” he said.
Jaitley’s remarks came soon soon after a Special CBI court acquitted all the accused, including former Telecom Minister A. Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi and others accused in the 2008 2G spectrum allocation scam case.
After the court verdict, the Congress demanded an apology from the ruling BJP saying the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA government “stand vindicated today”.
Jaitley leader said that in 2007-08 spectrum was not allocated on the basis of auction but on the price discovery mode made in 2001.
Jaitley alleged that spectrum was given on the basis of “first-come-first-serve basis which was meant to serve a selected few”.
“The first-come-first-serve policy then got converted to first-come-first-pay,” he alleged.
“Each and every case of spectrum allocation was quashed by the Supreme Court in 2012 as arbitrary and unfair, and as intended to cause loss to the government.
“The Supreme Court also directed the government to have a fresh policy by which an auction would take place,” the Finance Minister said.
“The fact that the policy caused loss is clear from the fact that the subsequent auctions got a much higher price,” he said.
To a question on the judgement being a set back for investigative agencies, Jaitley said, “I am sure that the investigative agencies will have a close look at it (the judgement) and decide what has to be done.”
The alleged scam in the issuance of licences and allocation of 2G spectrum by the Department of Telecom occurred during the Congress-led UPA government’s first tenure in 2008, but was widely reported in 2010 following a report by then Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Vinod Rai.