Special Court Judge O.P. Saini, in his judgement acquitting all the accused persons in the 2G spectrum allocation cases on December 21, said that in the beginning, the prosecution started with great enthusiasm, but in due course, it became highly cautious and guarded.
“In the beginning, the prosecution started with the case with great enthusiasm and ardour. However, as the case progressed, it became highly cautious and guarded in its attitude making it difficult to find out as to what the prosecution wanted to prove,” he said.
“However, by the end, the quality of prosecution totally deteriorated and it became directionless and diffident”.
In its order, the judge said several applications and replies were filed on behalf of the prosecution. However, in the latter and also in the final phase of the trial, no senior officer or prosecutor was willing to sign the submissions. They would rather be signed by junior-most officer, Inspector Manoj Kumar.
“When questioned, the reply of the regular Senior Public Prosecutor would be that the learned Special Public Prosecutor would sign it and when the learned Special Public Prosecutor was questioned, he would say that CBI people would sign it. Ultimately, the petition/reply would be filed under the signature of Inspector,” said the court order.
The judge said this showed that neither any investigator nor any prosecutor was willing to take any responsibility for what was being filed or said in the court.
Also when final arguments started, learned Special Public Prosecutor submitted that he would file written submissions. But, instead of filing written submissions, he started arguing the matter orally and argued it for several months. On conclusion of final arguments for the prosecution, he did not file written arguments, but instead submitted that he would file it only when the defence would file its written arguments.
“That was highly unfair. The prosecutor should have filed his written submissions in the first instance or at least contemporaneously with the oral submissions, so that the defence had a clear view of the case of the prosecution,” said the order.
The final arguments for the defence started and they kept filing written submissions with their oral submissions. When the rebuttal arguments started, only then the prosecution started filing its written arguments on day-to-day basis, apart from making oral submissions.
“In a sense, the main address of the prosecution was made during the rebuttal arguments. In order to meet this unique situation, the defence had to be given extra two days for further rebutting the arguments of the prosecution introduced through written arguments. Not only this, the most painful part is that learned Special Public Prosecutor was not ready to sign the written submissions filed by him,” said the judge. The judge, in his order, asked: “What is the use of a document in a court of law, which is not signed by anyone?”
When questioned as to why the Special Public Prosecutor was filing unsigned written submissions, his reply to the court would be that some defence advocates had also not signed the written submissions. When the regular Senior Public Prosecutor and the Inspector were questioned as to why they were not signing the written submissions, their reply was that the same were not coming from their office and were instead coming from the office of the Special Public Prosecutor. They said unless the written arguments were processed in their office, they would not sign it. “This shows that the learned Special Public Prosecutor and the regular prosecutor were moving in two different directions without any coordination,” said the court.
In his order, the judge also said that the fate of the case depended upon witnesses from the Department of Telecom (DoT) and from the companies of the accused. “The witnesses from DoT were either highly guarded, and if I may say so hesitant, in their deposition, and also went against official record rendering themselves unreliable. Witnesses from the companies of the accused also did not support the prosecution version,” it said.