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Rediff.com  » Business » 2G scam: 'It was daylight robbery'

2G scam: 'It was daylight robbery'

December 08, 2010 13:09 IST

The 2G spectrum scam cost the exchequer Rs 176,000 crore (Rs 1,760 billion).

Following the expose, one minister has lost his job while numerous journalists have had their credibility questioned.

Bits of information are still emerging from one of the biggest scams in post-Independence India.

J Gopikrishnan (in picture), who works for the Pioneer newspaper, is the one who exposed this scam.

The senior journalist answered many queries on the 2G scam on Rediff Chat on December 7. Here's the transcript:

J Gopikrishnan says, I am here to take questions. I have had the privilege of breaking the 2G spectrum scam that is now rocking Parliament with the Opposition parties demanding a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee and the government adamant on denying a JPC probe. The matter is also before the Supreme Court.

BurkhaDalal asked, Why blame only me ? I am yet to be paid
J Gopikrishnan answers,  at 2010-12-07 15:59:37ha ha ha ...sounds nice to ears...rather hearing Radia
GaneshNadar asked, What sort of pressures did you face when you started writing about the 2G scam
J Gopikrishnan answers, It was immense pressure from all quarters...... I faced this from the very first day I broke the story on December 11, 2008 on (former telecom minister) A Raja's personal companies
krjs asked, I get a feeling that many people are involved in the whole scam. What is your opinion being the main person to bring this out ?
J Gopikrishnan answers, One thing is sure. Raja isn't alone.... but , it is not fair to say who all are involved at this stage. Let us wait for the investigation to be completed.
rsrs asked, Was there any pressure from Tamil Nadu politicians. What kind of pressure was it?
J Gopikrishnan answers, Pressure from all quarters...it not only limited to Tamil Nadu....it was more about offers...none threatened me...i must say none..and some advisories were there ..but i rejected it and went ahead...Our paper and editor Chandan Mitra-ji was very bold
raj asked, Are you sure that the people of India will get justice in this scam? I don't have even 10% of trust in getting justice. Coz all are politicians..they will just divide the money among themselves and push the scam under the carpet.
J Gopikrishnan answers, i hope justice will be done. No one can't prevent the for long...
vij asked, what kind of punishment Raja will get in case he is found guilty in this .
J Gopikrishnan answers, He can follow his predecessor Sukhram, former telecom minister
krjs asked, You have done a commendable job. But for you the whole world would have known nothing about the scam. I am just not able to measure the value of you what you did in bringing this out.
J Gopikrishnan answers, Telecom is a money spinning area...it is considered as an easy money place
vij asked, How govt. and law is working to get the money back from those who benefited?.
J Gopikrishnan answers, Only legal solution is to cancel the licence and conduct auctions, like in the 3G case... I believe the country would get minimum Rs 2 lakh crore from the auction...
vsunder asked, Great to know that you broke the news of scam. Very sad to hear that politicians and bureaucrats are looting the country and going scot free. And in this scam even many journalists are involved, which is pretty shameful. What do you say?
J Gopikrishnan answers, Let us wait for the outcome of the cases of Dr Subramanian Swamy and activist Prashant Bhusan...i am an optimist...something is needed to clean the journalism from the clutches of crony-corporatism
deepak asked, how did you get the idea that there is a scam in 2g
J Gopikrishnan answers, we all sensed a scam around mid-2008 when companies started offloading the shares at huge price...to my luck, i got a great bold young government officer as a whistle blower - who enlightned, guided me...i salute him!
jyoshi asked, heary congratulations!!....we need more people like u in the media...
J Gopikrishnan answers, thanks ...it all happened due to the boldness of my editor Chandan Mitra and my collegaues in Pioneer...and the bold young govt officer, the whistleblower
mallu asked, I've read some of your interviews.. you are stating that only CPM doesn't got any money out of this scam.. is that true?
J Gopikrishnan answers, The LEFT and the AIADMK deserve credit for standing against the 2G scam from the very beginning...see Raja alone can't digest such a huge volume...what was Lok Sabha doing? No discussion happened on 2G scam in Lok Sabha for the past years...off course discussions were in Rajya Sabha only
pmn asked, what are your views on Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi expose?
J Gopikrishnan answers, let truth come out...my view is both have done mistake professionally...it is up to the investigative agencies like CBI and ED to find the other parts
sridhar asked, by looking all those news losing confidence on govt. & system of democracy
J Gopikrishnan answers, hope these will strengthen the system in future and provide transparency.. let us be optimistic..after all we all live for the Nation and Humanity...
koli asked, How do you feels???
J Gopikrishnan answers, i feel nice now...i am relived now...at last truth started coming out...see the judgement of Madras HC...
red asked, read in an interview of yours that both BD & VS were on the pay list of Raja as per his dairies ? Is it true ?
J Gopikrishnan answers, No i never said that....i said i have seen a the diary of Raja were some middle level journalists name figured..not Barkha and Vir.
Rajadhiraja asked, Gopal, Dont you think so .. Think kind of news only spoils India image and doesnt do anything better for us.
J Gopikrishnan answers, India's image? this is the finest part of India, that you can't hush up truth for a long time...we are proud to be Indians, where truth and democracy prevails...what is the image? is it dictated by PR companeis..or prasing each other...
mani asked, Why according to you is the govt hell bent on not admitting a JPC & how true is the Congress argument that JPC probe will kill the actual investigation?
J Gopikrishnan answers, Congress had 425 MPs when CAG report on Bofors came. Then people around Rajiv Gandhi misguided him...after 20 years..Congress has not reached the half way mark...somebody in Congress is doing dubious game...Then let them allow CBI and ED to act independently
sahil asked, Do you think that any one major telecom player was involved in the 2G scam to gain benefit ?
J Gopikrishnan answers, it is not ONE...existing TWO and other new born people
NiiraRadia asked, You are my Hero, my Super Man!!
J Gopikrishnan answers, ha ha haha...hope u r not the real Nira....
nist asked, Do you think the whistle blower will be punished?
J Gopikrishnan answers, i don't think so.....this is not a banana republic...
vnc asked, In your opinion what will be final verdict
J Gopikrishnan answers, punish the guilty and cancel the licences and auction like 3G
kindi asked, sir u are doing a great service to the nation...India needs more journos like you...i thank you
J Gopikrishnan answers, thanks...and we need good people like you to support
Kiran asked, hats off. Thanks for bringing the scam to us. India needs a lot of people like you sir. my question. how do you think the media should persist on this expose until the logical end to it. ie the guilty being punished
J Gopikrishnan answers, Media should...because Media's ultimate commitment is to the people...not to the corporates...
balaji asked, will the culprits punished? mainly Raja & MK family memebers?
J Gopikrishnan answers, i am optimistic....see the judgment from Madras HC on Raja calling the Judge
sat123 asked, Hi,do you think, will there be any real action at all on this..or we will forget this after few months
J Gopikrishnan answers, i am an optimist....let us hope for the best...
Wilson asked, how did you know about this scam
J Gopikrishnan answers, i was privileged to get help from a great young bold central govt officer....
thiru asked, you are the saviour for all that public money. Keep an eye on these kind of scams that won't come to the notice of public. Once again i am giving you a pat on behalf of all the public. thank you.
J Gopikrishnan answers, thanks you sir.....media and journalists have to work on public support...NOT for the benefit of corporates
sahil asked, Do you think that any one major telecom player was involved in the 2G scam to gain benefit ?
J Gopikrishnan answers, not ONE, But TWO - who benefited from the dubious Dual policy
rajhyr asked, Having such a critical nations surrounding India, these politicians are just not bothered about anything... I think very few have National Integrity... But happy to see people like you along with BD and VS... Hands off to you boss.. :) keep up the same work going...all the best...
J Gopikrishnan answers, THANKS
bunoo asked, my salute to u. thanks a lot.
J Gopikrishnan answers, THANKSSS
sivan asked, Gopi, are ALL the recordings available in the public domain just in case the original ones get destroyed either by the govt or the courts?
J Gopikrishnan answers, oh no...let us be optimistic....
Ramesh asked, Why the DMK is in a Denial Mode even after the media exposed it & the DMK chief says that Raja is innocent? This is something we do not understand it (or) does DMK thinks that people R fools?
J Gopikrishnan answers, joke of the century....might be DMK not aware..but [people who control DMK were...he he he
g asked, who is that bold young govenrnment officer?
J Gopikrishnan answers, i can't tell right now
g asked, who is that bold young govenrnment officer?
J Gopikrishnan answers, he is Tamilian.....OK....
investigator asked, Dear Gopi, let me congratulate you for the great service you have done to the nation. How do you think the money laundered under the 2g scam can be recovered?
J Gopikrishnan answers, i am optimistic..courts will take care..cases of Subramanian Swamy and Prashant Bhushan would take the matter into a logial conclusion
kumarvinay asked, When Sonia gandhi was also knowing and senior congress leaders were aware about 2G , why not media and you are not speaking about their silent role. Radia was having connection with sonia and rahul.
J Gopikrishnan answers, Many knew about the scam..and they all paying for their criminal silence now...i am not sure of Radia's connection with Sonia and Rahul...
Naitik asked, Have u ever thought what would have been the Call rates now had we retain the Telecom Licencing Policy propounded by Sukhram under Rao Govt. What would have been the level of Telecom industry now, if we would have switched to more liberal revenue sharing instead of license fee? 2G was a policy decision. Should CAG question Govt.'s policy. Than CAG should also comment upon Agri. Loan Waiver of 71000 crores?
J Gopikrishnan answers, Raja's 2G allotment was daylight robbery....he ignored the PM, the Law Minister, the Finance Minister...i don't know which world you are living in ...CAG found the scam and it documented well....
shharad asked, pls do not maintain silence on questions of journalist. I know they are fellow. but it demands propriety. Is not it. U must have seen hopelss defense of dear and lovely Barkha. Pls comment.
J Gopikrishnan answers, she has to take a call or her employer has to take a call
shharad asked, pls do not maintain silence on questions of journalist. I know they are fellow. but it demands propriety. Is not it. U must have seen hopelss defense of dear and lovely Barkha. Pls comment.
J Gopikrishnan answers, i am not convicned with Bharkha's answers through her TV show...i am not personally convinced
madan asked, did any scam involved in 1999 license to reliance,tata etc
J Gopikrishnan answers, scam happened on 2007 and 2008 during Raja's tenure...it was a day light robbery...i have sympathies to PM, who was aware of all these..but some forced prevented him to act....
pavan asked, Do u believe, in this day and age, there are politicians who are fair & non corrupt? If yes, how do they survive in this swarm of corrupts?
J Gopikrishnan answers, there are some very decent politicians...you can't say all are corrupt.. there are some with lots of integrity in politics
message asked, great job done sir. hats off to you. why can't you expose other irregularities like free tv distribution, flood relief in tamil nadu.
J Gopikrishnan answers, i am in Delhi...i know somethings is rotten in these two issues....what is Tamil Media doing?...i have sympathies to them...
panne asked, Thank for your words sir.
J Gopikrishnan answers, thanksss
GreatJob asked, Once again I would say Great Job, I think my last message did not get posted!
J Gopikrishnan answers, thanks....what was your last message?..
poptani asked, very nice, keep it up.............
J Gopikrishnan answers, yes... I will, thanks....
harish asked, why you hesitate to give correct answ. for question to you i think you may be purchase d from those for you giving detail
J Gopikrishnan answers, don't think all can be bought...it all depends on culture, where u come from...
Grishon asked, The entire country is grateful to you for your deed. How are you know? There mafia must be behind your blood and behind your family?
J Gopikrishnan answers, thanks....dear sir..really i prefer not to care...after all we all live for the Nation and Humanity
sunu asked, but, dont you think the system has loopholes for corruption ? what can be done to abolish that ?
J Gopikrishnan answers, i have no correct answer...it all depends on the integrity of persons whom we elect.. so we also have responsibilty in electing correct people
anismohd asked, Do u think that 3G Auction also had some scam?
J Gopikrishnan answers, 3G was a transparent auction...
preethi asked, your view on ethics in journalism and need for a model code...
J Gopikrishnan answers, Truth and Truth alone...no need of model code..what we want is a people who tell truth, and truth alone
p m asked, All Politicians, Chor Chor Mausere bhai. What you think?
J Gopikrishnan answers, there are very good sincere politicians with high integrity....it is for the people to elect them and support them
sivan asked, Gopi - first kudos to you sir for being brave. What kind of "political" or otherwise pressure you faced that tried stopping you from publishing it? Second, what level does this corruption reaches up to - all the way to the top?
J Gopikrishnan answers, thanks... lot of offers came to us. Editor Chandan Mitra took a bold stand, which became a shelter/shield for me.
raja_g asked, the speculative loss is based on what lines ?
J Gopikrishnan answers, 3G rates and STel's suo moto offer of Rs.13,752 crore for pan-Indian licences...and the mobile density...it is perfect figure...if now auction happens..and if foreign players allowed to participate in auction...we would get around Rs 2-3 lakh crore....
Srikanth asked,  hats of for doing good work.U r a true journalist.As published articles on 2g y cant u publish reg this http://janataparty.org/sonia.html
J Gopikrishnan answers, i have seen Dr.Swamy's article and read it atleast 20 times...Dr.Swamy is great friend of mine and i have regards to him...it is up to the management to take a calll...
radhika asked, Do you think journalists who spoke to Radia are corrupt? Have journos lost their credibility?
J Gopikrishnan answers, talking to Niira Radia is not a crime...but lobbying on her behalf is morally not correct
xyz asked, Sir - next why dont' you launch a campaign for systematic changes - instead of living from one scam to another ?
J Gopikrishnan answers, YES...some one has to lead it....there should be a people's movement
Madhukar asked, As per CAG estimates loss to exchequer is 1.76 Lakh Cr. What is your estimated loss in 2G scam?
J Gopikrishnan answers, CAG is correct.. I feel it would go higher if we cancel and conduct auction....CAG has done a tremendous job
Anand asked, if the 2 g licence are cancelled lots of companies would go in the red as the original licence holders have already sold the rights to third parties
J Gopikrishnan answers, govt should cancel all and conduct auction..rest of the issues are are smalll
drswamy asked, How did Dr. Swamy help you in pursuing this?
J Gopikrishnan answers, Dr.Swamy helped guided encouraged me a lot...i salute HIM
Vaths asked, Dear Mr. Gopikrishnan, according to you, which political outfit has come out clean on this entire issue of telecom licensing? Apparently both the NDA/UPA have had shady moments in Telecom spectrum/licence disbursal since 1994, right?
J Gopikrishnan answers, but Raja's was day light robberry...rest all have cabinet approval or PM's approval
SRIKUMAR asked, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT YOUR HARDWORK WILL YIELD A GOOD RESULT?
J Gopikrishnan answers, YES...Truth will win at last
slurrpy asked, how do the telecom companies make money? what is the scam actually?
J Gopikrishnan answers, it is a day light robbery....
rajhyr asked, As a journalist...wht do you think the best punishment for this kind politicians or any other who loot the nation...
J Gopikrishnan answers, let courts decide...
samir asked, sir! why u think congress is adamant on no JPC even though its allies including DMK is ok with it? is it bcoz as subramanim swamy tweeted thta 60% cut has gone to some congress persons?
J Gopikrishnan answers, i have high regards for Dr.Swamy...Congress might have to pay for its silence on the scam... let them act and allow CBI and ED to take action
Grishon asked, Do you think government is running AND we are still alive because of handful of good bureaucrats and few good politicians?
J Gopikrishnan answers, YES..absoultely.....
re asked, how you crack it?
J Gopikrishnan answers, i got a good bold young whistleblower...i will tell all in a book
san asked, gopicheta, we kearlites are proud of you..
J Gopikrishnan answers, thanksss
Priyabrata asked, What is your take on similar allegations in 2001?
J Gopikrishnan answers, no similarity between ...Raja's was daylight robberry
MUSTAFA asked, u are from Pioneer means u are from RSS and hence so much anti-Congress but salute to you guys for being nationalist till your last breath. Proud to be an Indian and to have patriots like u sir. Jai Hind!
J Gopikrishnan answers, i am from Pioneer and not from RSS. Jaihind
manindia123 asked, Hi Gopi ,Who has power to cancel and go for reauction
J Gopikrishnan answers, DoT secretray
Payal asked, Congratulations for exposing the people behind this scam. India definitely needs more journalists like you, really hats off to you. I have only one question for you & i.e. while you were investigating upon it & after you published it, are you satisfied with the steps being taken to arrest those involved in it?
J Gopikrishnan answers, thankssss..yes i am an optimist
Sasidharan asked, Mr. Gopalakrishnan, I appreciate your courage to expose this big scam here in Delhi as you know you are a south Indian and you have to face the safety of your family too.
J Gopikrishnan answers, thanksss..we all live for the nation and humanity...
J Gopikrishnan says, Thank you for asking questions. I thank rediff.com for the opportunity to interact with you...