2G: Bail order reserved; Kani to spend Diwali in jail
The special CBI court at Patiala House today reserved the bail pleas of Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and four others till Nov 3 in connection with the 2G case. Who are the 17 accused? | The spectrum saga: Timelinedelhi Updated: Oct 24, 2011 15:26 IST
The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court at Patiala House on Monday reserved the bail pleas of Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and four others - Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Directors of Kusegaon Fruits & Vegetables Asif Balwa, Rajiv Agarwal and Bollywood producer Karim Morani.
The court will decide on November 3 the fresh bail petitions moved by Kanimozhi and four other accused in the 2G case after the CBI did not object to their plea.
Two days after charges were framed against them, special CBI judge O P Saini reserved his order on the bail petitions of Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Directors of Kusegaon Fruits & Vegetables Asif Balwa, Rajiv Agarwal and Bollywood producer Karim Morani.
During arguments, special public prosecutor U U Lalit, appearing for the CBI, said that the agency had no objection if they were granted bail by the court.
"First bail be granted to them subject to the discretion of this court if the court deems it fit," Lalit said.
The court, however, will hear the arguments on bail pleas of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa and A Raja's former private secretary R K Chandolia as the CBI opposed their petitions.
On Saturday, apart from Kanimozhi and Raja, the special court ordered framing of charges against 15 others in the 2G spectrum allocation irregularities. All have been charged under Section 409 of IPC for alleged criminal breach of trust that attracts a maximum punishment of life sentence. The other charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, accepting bribes against most accused fetches them jail term ranging between three years and seven years.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi was hopeful that his daughter Kanimozhi, who has been behind bars since May in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation scam, would get bail on Monday.
The 88-year-old former Tamil Nadu chief minister and his wife Rajathi with grandson Adithya have been in Delhi since Friday.
On Saturday, the court in its order said there was evidence that Raja, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura and others conspired to allocate “valuable spectrum”, entrusted to them as public servants, to Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless illegally to cause “wrongful gain to the companies and thereby Section 409 is invoked against them”.
The judge also found evidence of Raja flouting rules to issue 2G licenses in 2008, pegging them at 2001 prices, and causing huge losses to the government.
On Kanimozhi, the court found evidence that the Rs 200 crore received by DMK mouthpiece Kalaignar TV was a bribe from the Shahid Balwa-owned DB Realty in return for 2G licence.
Kanimozhi is accused of being the “active brain” behind Kalaignar TV and having been in “regular touch” with Raja.
Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, the judge framed charges against Balwa, his cousin Asif Balwa, their colleagues Rajeev Agarwal and DB Realty managing director Vinod Goenka.
Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani executives Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair have also been charged. Reliance Telecom said they will go to the Delhi high court. “Framing of charges… is not a finding of guilt by the special court,” it said in a statement.
Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, filmmaker Karim Morani and Raja’s former private secretary RK Chandolia will also face trial.