Apex court seeks to know of CBI stand on Kanimozhi bail plea

Arun S New Delhi | Updated on October 31, 2011 Published on October 31, 2011

The Supreme Court on Monday sought to know from the CBI whether the investigating agency did not oppose the bail plea of DMK MP Ms Kanimozhi and four other accused the 2G spectrum case.

The apex court directed the Additional-Solicitor General Mr Harin P. Raval, appearing for the CBI, to take instructions from the agency and file a reply on Tuesday regarding the stand it took before the Special Court on the bail plea of these five accused.

This was after senior advocate Mr Ram Jethmalani -- representing the Managing Director of Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd Mr Sanjay Chandra (an accused in the case) -- told the court that the CBI did not oppose the bail application of the five accused.

The court also asked the CBI that if the agency was sure that these accused will not tamper with evidence and if the agency does not want them for further investigations, then why they were still being kept in jail.

On October 24, the CBI did not raise any objections before the Special Court regarding bail being granted to Ms Kanimozhi and four other accused including Mr Sharad Kumar (Director, Kalaignar TV), Mr Rajiv B Agarwal and Mr Asif Balwa (directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd) and Mr Karim Morani (Director, Cineyug Media and Entertainment).

Citing a June order of the Supreme Court, Ms Kanimozhi's counsel Mr Altaf Ahmed told the Special Court that according to it, Ms Kanimozhi was at liberty to move the bail plea after charges are framed. Following this, the Special Court had fixed November 3 as the date for pronouncing its order on the bail applications of Ms Kanimozhi and the four others.

However, the CBI had opposed before the Special Court the bail application of two other accused – Mr Shahid Balwa (promoter, Swan Telecom) and Mr R K Chandolia (personal secretary to the then Telecom Minister Mr Raja) -- saying that if one takes into account only the specific charges framed against these two, they could lead to a maximum punishment of seven years, if found guilty. On the other hand, the specific charges against the five accused, including Ms Kanimozhi, would lead to a maximum of only five years' imprisonment, the CBI had said.

Five corporate executives -- Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s Mr Gautam Doshi, Mr Hari Nair and Mr Surendra Pipara as well as Swan Telecom Director Mr Vinod Goenka and Mr Sanjay Chandra – who are also accused in the case, contended before the apex court during the hearing of their bail plea that they should also be treated equally regarding grant of bail.

The CBI, however, opposed the bail application of these five corporate executives.

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Published on October 31, 2011
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