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Bail orders reserved, dark Diwali for Kanimozhi, six others

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, Oct 24 (IANS): It would be Diwali behind bars for DMK MP Kanimozhi and six others accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case with a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here Monday reserving orders on their bail pleas till Nov 3.

The CBI told Special Court Judge O.P. Saini that it had no objection to bail being given to Kanimozhi, directors of Kusegaon Asif Balwa and Rajeev B. Agarwal, Cineyug Film's Karim Morani and Kalaignar TV's managing director Sharad Kumar.

"The five names have cropped up in the supplementary charge sheet. So the charges imposed on them in the chargesheet were just umbrella charges and these offences attract punishment of only five years. So at this juncture, since this punishment is less than five years, I have no objection on the five accused (getting bail)," said Special Public Prosecutor U.U. Lalit.

He added that most of them had been in jail for more than five months, so bail should be granted to them, as a matter of right.

The CBI told the court that certain conditions should be imposed on all of them so that they remain present at the time of investigation.

The investigating agency opposed bail for Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa and R.K. Chandolia, who was the secretary of former telecom minister A. Raja, who has also been jailed in the case.

"Shahid Balwa's and Chandolia's offences may attract a maximum punishment of seven years, so bail is not a matter of right for these two," said Lalit.

Counsel for Shahid Balwa and Chandolia, Vijay Agarwal, opposed the CBI saying that there should be no distinction between his clients and others.

"Section 420 (cheating) of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) has been dropped against Chandolia and section 471 (using a forged document) of the IPC has been dropped against Shahid Balwa. So circumstances have changed," said Agarwal.

The court reserved its orders on the pleas of all seven till Nov 3. Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, will be celebrated Oct 26.

Kanimozhi, 43, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi's daughter, who has been in jail for the last five months since her arrest May 20, said charges against her had now been framed and as per the order of the Supreme Court, she could approach the special court afresh for bail.

Senior advocate Altaf Ahmed told the court that as per the June 22 order of the apex court, both Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar could approach the special court hearing 2G case, seeking bail after framing of charges.

"As per the Supreme Court order on June 22 in the case of Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar, liberty was given to them to file fresh application for bail before the special court after framing of charges," said Ahmed.

As a result of this it is now a fit case for bail, he said.

Kanimozhi's bail application was earlier declined by the special court, the Delhi High Court and as well as by the Supreme Court.

Kanimozhi, along with other 16 accused including Raja, has been charged under penal provisions for criminal breach of trust by a public servant, cheating, forgery for cheating and using a forged document and Section 7 or in alternative Section 11, read with Section 12, and 13(2), read with 13(1b), of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) is invoked against them".

The judge also found evidence of Raja flouting rules to issue 2G licences 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 a 2G licence.

Kanimozhi is accused of being the "active brain" behind Kalaignar TV and having been in "regular touch" with Raja.

The court would hear the bail application of Behura Oct 31.

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Bail orders reserved, dark Diwali for Kanimozhi, six others

NEW DELHI, Oct 24 (IANS): It would be Diwali behind bars for DMK MP Kanimozhi and six others accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case with a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here Monday reserving orders on their bail pleas till Nov 3.

The CBI told Special Court Judge O.P. Saini that it had no objection to bail being given to Kanimozhi, directors of Kusegaon Asif Balwa and Rajeev B. Agarwal, Cineyug Film's Karim Morani and Kalaignar TV's managing director Sharad Kumar.

"The five names have cropped up in the supplementary charge sheet. So the charges imposed on them in the chargesheet were just umbrella charges and these offences attract punishment of only five years. So at this juncture, since this punishment is less than five years, I have no objection on the five accused (getting bail)," said Special Public Prosecutor U.U. Lalit.

He added that most of them had been in jail for more than five months, so bail should be granted to them, as a matter of right.

The CBI told the court that certain conditions should be imposed on all of them so that they remain present at the time of investigation.

The investigating agency opposed bail for Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa and R.K. Chandolia, who was the secretary of former telecom minister A. Raja, who has also been jailed in the case.

"Shahid Balwa's and Chandolia's offences may attract a maximum punishment of seven years, so bail is not a matter of right for these two," said Lalit.

Counsel for Shahid Balwa and Chandolia, Vijay Agarwal, opposed the CBI saying that there should be no distinction between his clients and others.

"Section 420 (cheating) of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) has been dropped against Chandolia and section 471 (using a forged document) of the IPC has been dropped against Shahid Balwa. So circumstances have changed," said Agarwal.

The court reserved its orders on the pleas of all seven till Nov 3. Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, will be celebrated Oct 26.

Kanimozhi, 43, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi's daughter, who has been in jail for the last five months since her arrest May 20, said charges against her had now been framed and as per the order of the Supreme Court, she could approach the special court afresh for bail.

Senior advocate Altaf Ahmed told the court that as per the June 22 order of the apex court, both Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar could approach the special court hearing 2G case, seeking bail after framing of charges.

"As per the Supreme Court order on June 22 in the case of Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar, liberty was given to them to file fresh application for bail before the special court after framing of charges," said Ahmed.

As a result of this it is now a fit case for bail, he said.

Kanimozhi's bail application was earlier declined by the special court, the Delhi High Court and as well as by the Supreme Court.

Kanimozhi, along with other 16 accused including Raja, has been charged under penal provisions for criminal breach of trust by a public servant, cheating, forgery for cheating and using a forged document and Section 7 or in alternative Section 11, read with Section 12, and 13(2), read with 13(1b), of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) is invoked against them".

The judge also found evidence of Raja flouting rules to issue 2G licences 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 a 2G licence.

Kanimozhi is accused of being the "active brain" behind Kalaignar TV and having been in "regular touch" with Raja.

The court would hear the bail application of Behura Oct 31.