Indian court sets Dec. 21 judgment day in country’s biggest corruption scam

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New Delhi   –     A special court in Delhi on Tuesday announced Dec. 21 as the judgment day in the telecom scam, India’s biggest corruption scandal, in which former Telecom Minister A. Raja is an accused.

“The special court has asked all the accused in the case to be present on Dec. 21.

“It will deliver its judgment in the telecom scam on that day itself,’’ a senior lawyer said.

The scandal pertains to the misselling of bandwidth to telecom companies in 2008 by Raja, who was the telecom minister in previous Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, thus causing a loss of 40 billion dollars to exchequer.

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Raja is alleged to have issued the frequency licences to some telecom companies on a “first-come, first-served” basis instead of auctioning them, he, however denied any wrongdoing.

Other accused in the case include Raja’s party colleague K. Kanimozhi and top executives of some telecom companies.

Raja’s regional DMK party of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu was an ally in the then United Progressive Alliance government.

In February 2012, India’s Supreme Court cancelled 122 telecommunications licences awarded to companies in 2008.

“Licences after January 2008 are quashed.

“The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India will make fresh allocations by auction,’’ the court said.

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India is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for mobile phones with over 900 million connections.

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