While A Raja broke into a smile, replying, “Thanks, my lord,” Kanimozhi wept, as she hugged all those around her.

How the 7 year long 2G case culminated in 10 minutes Blow by blow account from courtPTI Photo
news 2G Verdict Thursday, December 21, 2017 - 15:19

After nearly six years, a few minutes was all it took to acquit all 17 accused in the 2G spectrum case.

A special CBI Court headed by Justice OP Saini pronounced the judgement just past 10.30am, acquitting all those involved including former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK’s Rajya Sabha MP and party chief’s daughter M Kanimozhi.

But it was an uneasy calm that preceded the judgement.

Nearly a thousand DMK cadres, many from A Raja’s constituency of Perambalur, had descended at the Patiala House Court early on Thursday morning. Senior party leaders including former Union minister TR Balu, former ministers Durai Murugan and Ponmudi, as well MPs Tiruchi Siva, TKS Elangovan and Vaasanthi were there to provide moral support. Also present was DMK working President MK Stalin’s son-in-law Sabareesh.

The room adjoining the Court Hall was a full house, with family members, media personnel, advocates and DMK leaders.

Dressed in a crisp white shirt and black pants, A Raja appeared cool and composed. When asked how he felt, with minutes to go for the verdict, the former Telecom Minister said, “I slept for six hours, I ate two idlis this morning, and I had my morning exercise,” indicating that he went about his routine, like it was any other day.

Accompanied by his wife and his daughter, Raja, appeared unruffled to the very end – exchanging pleasantries with the other accused in the case, such as former Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar and Shahid Balwa.

His party colleague, Kanimozhi, who was named as co-conspirator in the alleged scam that the CAG had pegged at Rs 1.76 lakh crore, was, however, visibly nervous. Dressed in a maroon saree with a mustard shawl draped around her shoulder, Kanimozhi stood by her husband, even as supporters wished her ‘good luck’ ahead of the judgment.

And while Raja – the main accused – remained calm, the tension was visible in another corner of the room. Shahid Balwa’s family huddled together. His closest relatives saying prayers, some others breaking into tears, as the accused were ushered into OP Saini’s Courtroom.

Petitioner Subramanian Swamy was also led into the Court Hall.

Inside the Court hall, it was all over in a matter of seconds. “All accused in this case are acquitted as the prosecuting agencies CBI and ED could not prove the guilt and did not submit enough evidence to prove the crime,” pronounced Justice OP Saini at 10.40am.

While A Raja broke into a smile, replying, “Thanks, my lord,” Kanimozhi wept, as she hugged all those around her.

Seconds after the judgment was delivered, the closed doors of the Court Hall opened to the chanting cries of “All acquitted.”

Disbelief quickly turned to palpable relief, as cheers and congratulations filled the room. “Vetri,” shouted cadres. Posters labelled “hero” with Raja’s face were held aloft, as the red and black colours of the DMK flag were waved for the waiting media outside, as “vazhga” rent the air.

And while the party cadres and leaders celebrated, Raja refused to comment without reading the full judgement, telling reporters, “I have to stand before you with authority, I need to attack CAG. You all went wrong.”

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