By Alisha Singhal
Being one of the most controversial news, tainting the Congress rule with more charges of corruption, the 2012 2G spectrum case has taken a new turn. Now, CBI courts have provided mass acquittal to all those involved.
The Supreme Court had cancelled 122 telecom licenses allotted to companies in 2008 when the Communications Minister A. Raja was in charge. The move had shaken the telecom industry in India. A. Raja was accused of favouring some applicants during the auction process. He used the first-come-first-serve system to favour Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless.
The recent acquittal has led to serious questioning of the evidence gathered and proficiency of the CBI. The case had been heavily influenced by the public perception of it being the largest scam in recent history. It seems like that is not enough to prove guilt.
Claim for damages
The next immediate step that many companies who were involved have asked for compensation for the damages and loss caused as a result of license cancellation by the court then. This has mainly come in the wake of a Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) judgment in 2015. According to that, it backs the demand for compensation to companies whose licenses were cancelled.
Till now, three companies have come forward to seek compensation. Loop Telecom, Videocon Telecom and the latest one being Stel. Loop Telecom which wants to claim a massive $166 million as compensation. Videocon has charged Rs. 10,000 crore as damage claims. C Sivasankaran of Stel. is keen to take Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to the highest of the court seeking Rs. 3400 as compensation.
However, there are slim chances of the companies getting back any compensation, according to some experts. They will have to prove that there were losses in business which involves showcasing of very critical documents. Despite lack of sufficient proof of corruption charges, the spectrum allocation of 2012 was still flawed.
This is quite a news in the already changing telecom industry. There were 16 players in the industry in 2012. It has now come down to 11 and will soon become five if the said mergers and acquisitions take place. The industry is gathering towards heavy consolidation and it will be interesting to see how this recent acquittal impacts the industry.
Featured Image Source: Pixabay
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