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Key witnesses facing threats, says Lalit

Supreme Court-appointed special public prosecutor in the 2G scam case, UU Lalit, on Wednesday opposed the bail plea of five accused, saying key CBI witnesses were facing threats. Sumit Saxena reports.

delhi Updated: Apr 14, 2011 01:03 IST

Supreme Court-appointed special public prosecutor in the 2G scam case, UU Lalit, on Wednesday opposed the bail plea of five accused, saying key CBI witnesses were facing threats.

Swan Telecom director Vinod Goenka, Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, and Reliance ADA Group officials Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair, who were not arrested during the probe, appeared before

special judge OP Saini’s packed courtroom along with lawyers. They all sought bail.

However, Lalit opposed their bail. “The status of a person changes in law after filing of the chargesheet. They are not entitled to release on bail ipso

facto (by default) on appearance before the court. From being suspects, they have now become accused and hence, will have to justify their bail plea,” Lalit said.

“There are nearly 180 prosecution witnesses and some of them are under political perception of threat,” Lalit said and gave some classified documents to Saini who has been appointed to hear the 2G case exclusively on a day-to-day basis.

He, however, refused to share the documents with the counsel for the accused, saying the CBI intended to use them in its reply.

Advocates Mukul Rohatgi, KTS Tulsi and Ranjit Kumar opposed it.

They said the CBI needed to justify why the agency wanted the accused to be put behind bars as they were not arrested during the investigation.

The court allowed the CBI to file its reply opposing the bail application and listed the matter for hearing on April 15.

Appearing for Goenka, counsel Rohatgi and advocate Vijay Aggarwal told the court there were no serious allegations against their client and the probe was already over. He was not arrested during the investigation as he duly cooperated with the agency, they told the court. Tulsi appearing for Chandra and counsel for Reliance officials also put forth the same argument.

However, Lalit said “the arrest of accused during the investigation and arrest at the time of appearance are two different things”.