2G: Court grants bail to Chandolia

Arun S New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on December 01, 2011

Mr R K Chandolia

Says his case can’t be equated with that of Raja, Behura

A Special Court hearing the 2G spectrum case on Thursday granted bail to an accused Mr R K Chandolia, who was the former private secretary to the then Telecom Minister Mr A Raja. Mr Chandolia has been in Tihar jail since February 1, 2011.

“Considering the period of custody already undergone by the accused…. that the case is at the stage of recording of prosecution evidence and the fact that five of the co-accused have already been released on bail by the Supreme Court, five by the Delhi High Court and one by this court, I am of the humble opinion that further incarceration of the accused would not serve any purpose,” the Special Judge Mr O P Saini said in his 5-page order.

Significantly, the judge also said “Mr Chandolia was only the private secretary to the then Telecom Minister Mr Raja and was not having any independent powers on his own.”

“The co-accused Mr Raja was the political head of the Department of Telecommunications, whereas co-accused Mr Siddharth Behura (the then Telecom Secretary) was its administrative head. As such, with due respect, his (Mr Chandolia’s) case cannot be equated with these two accused,” the Special Court said.

However, the Special Court imposed certain stringent conditions on Mr Chandolia. These included asking him to furnish a personal bond of Rs three lakh with two sureties of the like amount; asking him not to make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case; not visit the Department of Telecommunications without prior permission of the court; remain present during the hearing of the case; being absent only with prior permission of the court; not disputing his identity as the accused; and surrendering his passport. The court also gave the CBI the liberty to make an application for recalling of the bail order if the accused violates any of the conditions.

Mr Vijay Aggarwal, representing Mr Chandolia, said since 11 co-accused have already been granted bail, the ‘principle of parity’ must be applied to his client’s case too. There are 17 accused in the case, of which three are companies.

Mr Aggarwal also claimed that Mr Chandolia was only assisting Mr Raja and had no independent power to do anything on his own, adding that his client neither received any bribe nor any disproportionate assets were recovered from his possession.

Mr U U Lalit, the Special Public Prosecutor for the CBI, contended that Mr Chandolia, Mr Raja and Mr Behura constituted the core of the conspirators in the case, adding that whatever benefits the private persons obtained due to the 2G spectrum allocation flowed due to the misuse of official position by these three accused. Mr Lalit also said that there is no parity between Mr Chandolia’s case and the other co-accused who have been released on bail.

Published on December 01, 2011
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