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Jaya’s verdict: Raja is guilty

india Updated: Jul 03, 2009 02:18 IST
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AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa (61) on Thursday named telecom minister A Raja of the DMK as the one who had tried to influence a Chennai High Court judge to grant bail to an accused.

“Though the Honourable Judge refrained from naming the union minister, it does not require any superhuman intelligence to conclude that it was none other than the telecom scam-tainted A Raja,” she said in statement released in Chennai.

Justice R Reghupathi had created a stir on Monday by declaring in open court that a union minister had tried to pressure him to grant anticipatory bail to Dr C Krishnamurthy and his son Kirubha Sridhar. The CBI is investigating the father-son duo for allegedly altering the latter’s MBBS mark sheet. He has so far refused to name the minister.

Jayalalithaa alleged that Dr Krishnamurthy, who like Raja hails from Perambalur district, is a close business associate of the minister.

In Delhi, Raja dismissed the allegation. “I refute the charges. They are politically motivated,” he said.

But pressure is mounting on the government to act against the minister the judge was referring to. In the Rajya Sabha opposition speakers led by Arun Jaitley demanded the prime minister make a statement. “Not only is it a case of criminal contempt, but it also amounts to an act of misdemeanor by the minister, who is not a raja,” said Jaitley. In the Tamil Nadu assembly, the entire opposition walked out on the issue.

Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan, in an interview on CNN-IBN, warned against ‘interference in the judiciary’.