Trial and error
- IPL spot-fixing case: Net widens, police watching 3 more players, other bookies
- IPL 2013: Imperious Brad Hodge powers Rajasthan Royals to qualifier
- Sonia Gandhi, PM Manmohan Singh slam BJP for disrupting Parliament, stalling bills
- IPL spot-fixing: 'Bookie' Vindoo was close to BCCI chief's son-in-law, say cops
- Jessica Lall case: Shayan Munshi to face perjury trial
Chidambaram is cleared in 2G case. But this exercise framed just how the corruption debate has lost balance
The Supreme Court's dismissal of the case against P. Chidambaram, who was finance minister when controversial 2G spectrum decisions were made, is welcome, though wholly expected and belated. The court emphasised there was no material "even prima facie, to conclude that Chidambaram abused his official position or used any corrupt or illegal means". And yet, this case has been an object lesson in the way legal and investigative processes can be misused as cover for the smear campaign and witchhunt. If there is credible evidence of wrongdoing, of a public official's decision being induced by a corrupt motive, he must be charged and punished by the court of law; and more generally, in an alert democracy, rewards and penalties for good and bad governance are administered in the people's court, in the elections. But in the prevalent environment, when a kind of scandal mania rages, it has become all too easy to malign public functionaries with charges of corruption even when, as in this case, no evidence exists to begin with, and to leave them to fight it alone, with the case taking up valuable judicial time.
This case was, from the outset, a scapegoating exercise, meant to dog a key political target. No one seriously alleged that Chidambaram took a bribe or benefited monetarily from the 2G spectrum decisions. On the contrary, on November 22, 2007, the finance ministry had sent the telecom ministry a strongly worded letter asking for an immediate review of the entry fee. And yet, the petitioners managed to keep the courts occupied, demanding that Chidambaram be named as co-accused in the 2G trial — appealing when it was shot down. In other words, even when it is clear that the intention is simply to throw muck to embarrass an individual, such cases are still admitted into the courts and treated as a legitimate line of inquiry.
- Fixing probe now reaches Bollywood, son of Dara Singh held
- BCCI cashes Pune Warriors guarantee, 'disgusted' Sahara walks out of IPL
- Sreesanth spent Rs 1.95L on clothes, bought friend BlackBerry, paid in cash: Police
- Delhi firm with MoD as client is linked to Pak cyberattacks
- After Infosys, iGATE sacks Phaneesh Murthy for sexual misconduct
- 2 weeks after harassment, Haryana schoolgirls return, cops in tow