Scam, or folklore? on 2G case verdict –

What is illegal from the point of view of administrative law may not necessarily be an offence from a criminal court’s perspective. The Supreme Court declared in 2012 that the allocation of 2G spectrum by the Congress-led UPA government was illegal and an arbitrary exercise of power. It went on to cancel all 122 telecom licences allotted to companies in early 2008 during the tenure of A. Raja as Communications Minister. With the trial court’s en masse acquittal of all those arraigned by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the 2G spectrum allocation case, the claim that this was the biggest scam in India’s history lies in tatters. Every ground that the CBI had adduced to prove that Mr. Raja manipulated the first-come, first-served system to favour Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless, among others, and helped them make a windfall profit by offloading their stakes, has been rejected by Special Judge O.P. Saini. The immediate fallout is that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, to which Mr. Raja belongs, and its national ally, the Congress, will at last be in a position to shake off the perception that they were irredeemablybeset by corruption. The Congress, in particular, is now in a position to reiterate that the spectrum allocation resulted in ‘zero loss’; also, that its rule between 2004 and 2014 was not as scam-tainted as it was generally made out, a perception that has impacted its electoral performance since. Attention will now turn to Vinod Rai, whose sensational report as Comptroller and Auditor General, pegging the loss as a result of not auctioning spectrum at 1.76 lakh crore, contributed to the perception that a huge scam had taken place. Many had argued that the figure was only notional. Mr. Raja said that not revising the entry fee and not auctioning spectrum ensured cheaper telephony, increased tele-density and contributed to the sector’s overall development. He has been undoubtedly vindicated, but there is a lesson for everyone in the long 2G saga: public perception and audit reports cannot be the sole basis for criminal trials; investigating agencies must carefully sift the available material before deciding to prosecute. Eliminating graft from public life is not only about making allegations stick during election time, but also about diligent investigation and efficient prosecution. The CBI’s image has taken a beating, with the court calling it out for its waning enthusiasm in pursuing the case. There is a cloud over the present government’s commitment to fighting corruption. It may yet have a chance to redeem itself, as the CBI has said it will appeal the verdict. An appeal is in order given the sweeping dismissal of the CBI’s contentions, so sweeping that it dismisses, arguably a tad too breezily, what the prosecution said were suspicious quid pro quo transactions. It is said that the folklore about corruption is bigger than the actual incidence of corruption. Could this be true of the 2G ‘scam’ as well?

22) Perspective

Meaning: A particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view.

Example:”Most guidebook history is written from the editor’s perspective”

Synonyms:  Outlook, View

23) Arbitrary

Meaning: Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

Example: “An arbitrary decision”

Synonyms:  Capricious, Whimsical

Antonyms:   Rational, Reasoned

24) En masse

Meaning: “The cabinet immediately resigned en masse”

Synonyms:  (all) Together, As a group

Antonyms:   Singly

25) Acquittal

Meaning: A judgement or verdict that a person is not guilty of the crime with which they have been charged.

Example:”The trial resulted in an acquittal”

Synonyms:  Absolution, Clearing,

Antonyms: Conviction

26) Arraigned

Meaning: Call or bring (someone) before a court to answer a criminal charge.

Example:”Her sister was arraigned on charges of attempted murder”

Synonyms:  Indict, Prosecute

Antonyms:   Clear, Acquit

27) Tatters

Meaning: Irregularly torn pieces of cloth, paper, or other material.

Example:”He was forced to wear rags and tatters a beggar would scorn”

Synonyms:  Rags, Scraps

28) Irredeemably

Meaning: Impossible to correct, improve, or change.

Example: There are irredeemable flaws in the logic of the argument.

29) Tainted

Meaning: Contaminate or pollute (something).

Example:”The air was tainted by fumes from the cars”

Synonyms:  Contaminate, Pollute

Antonyms: Clean

30) Pegging

Meaning: Fix, secure, or mark with a peg or pegs.

Example:”Drape plants with nets, pegging down the edges”

Synonyms:  Fix, Pin

31) Auctioning

Meaning: Sell or offer for sale at an auction.

Example:”The painting was auctioned at Christie’s”

32) Notional

Meaning: Existing as or based on a suggestion, estimate, or theory; not existing in reality.

Example:”Notional budgets for hospital and community health services”

33) Vindicated

Meaning: Show or prove to be right, reasonable, or justified.

Example:”More sober views were vindicated by events”

Synonyms:  Justify, Warrant

Antonyms: Disprove

34) Sift

Meaning: Examine (something) thoroughly so as to isolate that which is most important.

Example: “Until we sift the evidence ourselves, we can’t comment objectively”

Synonyms: Investigate, Probe

35) Prosecute

Meaning: Institute legal proceedings in respect of (a claim or offence).

Example:”The state’s attorney’s office seemed to decide that this was a case worth prosecuting”

Synonyms: Accuse, Sue

Antonyms: Defend, Pardon

36) Allegations

Meaning: A claim or assertion that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically one made without proof.

Example: “He made allegations of corruption against the administration”

Synonyms:  Claim, Assertion

37) Enthusiasm

Meaning: Intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval.

Example:”Her energy and enthusiasm for life”

Synonyms:  Eagerness, Keenness

Antonyms: Apathy

38) Tad

Meaning: To a small extent; somewhat.

Example:”Mark looked a tad embarrassed”

39) Suspicious

Meaning: Having or showing a cautious distrust of someone or something.

Example:”He was suspicious of her motives”

Synonyms:  Doubtful, Unsure

Antonyms:   Trustful, Trusting

40) Folklore

Meaning: The traditional stories and culture of a group of people.

Example: Her books are often based on folklore and fairy-tales.


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