TOPIC OF THE DAY:-“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 irredeemably beset 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?


1) Herald

Meaning: A person or thing viewed as a sign that something is about to happen.

Example:”They considered the first primroses as the herald of spring”

Synonyms: Harbinger, Sign

2) Concern

Meaning: Make (someone) anxious or worried.

Example: “The roof of the barn concerns me because eventually it will fall in”

Synonyms: Worry, Disturb

3) Grappling

Meaning: Struggle to deal with or overcome (a difficulty or challenge).

Example: “Other towns are still grappling with the problem”

Synonyms: Tackle, Confront

Antonyms: Avoid

4) Forthcoming

Meaning: About to happen or appear.

Example:”The forthcoming cricket season”

Synonyms:  Imminent, Impending

Antonyms: Past, Current

5) Tweak

Meaning: Twist or pull (something) sharply.

Example:  “He tweaked the boy’s ear”

Synonyms: Twist, Tug

6) Reap

Meaning: Receive (something, especially something beneficial) as a consequence of one’s own or another’s actions.

Example:”The company is poised to reap the benefits of this investment”

Synonyms:  Receive, Obtain

7) Repealed

Meaning: Revoke or annul (a law or act of parliament).

Example:”The legislation was repealed five months later”

Synonyms:  Revoke, Rescind

Antonyms: Introduce, Enact

8) Bargains

Meaning: An agreement between two or more people or groups as to what each will do for the other.

Example:”Bargains between political parties supporting the government”

Synonyms:  Agreement, Arrangement

9) Contentious

Meaning: Causing or likely to cause an argument; controversial.

Example:”A contentious issue”

Synonyms:  Controversial, Disputable

10) Lobbying

Meaning: Seek to influence (a legislator) on an issue.

Example:”They insist on their right to lobby Congress”

Synonyms: Importune, Persuade

11) Plunge

Meaning: Fall suddenly and uncontrollably.

Example: “A car swerved to avoid a bus and plunged into a ravine”

Synonyms:  Crash, Plummet

12) Anomalies

Meaning: Something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected.

Example:”There are a number of anomalies in the present system”

Synonyms:  Oddity, Peculiarity

13) Inevitable

Meaning: Certain to happen; unavoidable.

Example:”War was inevitable”

Synonyms:  Unavoidable, Inescapable

Synonyms: Avoidable, Uncertain

14) Regime

Meaning: A government, especially an authoritarian one.

Example: “Ideological opponents of the regime”

Synonyms: Government, Rule

15) Predominantly

Meaning: Mainly; for the most part.

Example:”It is predominantly a coastal bird”

Synonyms:  Mainly, Mostly

16) Enormously

Meaning: To a very great degree or extent; considerably.

Example:”Quality of life varies enormously from one place to another”

Synonyms:  Very, Extremely

Antonyms: Moderately, Slightly

17) Merely

Meaning: Just; only.

Example:”Gary, a silent boy, merely nodded”

Synonyms:  Only, Purely

18) Inclusion

Meaning: The action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.

Example: “They have been selected for inclusion in the scheme”

Synonyms:  Incorporation, Addition

Antonyms:   Exclusion, Omission

19) Augmenting

Meaning: Make (something) greater by adding to it; increase.

Synonyms:  Increase, Raise

Antonyms:   Decrease

20) Glitches

Meaning: A sudden, usually temporary malfunction or fault of equipment.

Example:”A draft version was lost in a computer glitch”

21) Calibrate

Meaning: Adjust (experimental results) to take external factors into account or to allow comparison with other data.

Example:”The radiocarbon results would need to be calibrated to convert them to calendar ages”

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