2G case: HC to hear Kanimozhi bail plea
"All the bail applications would be heard tomorrow at 10.30 AM," Justice V K Shali said today.
The accused, who included former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura and filmmaker Karim Morani, had pleaded that their bail applications should come up today itself but the court said they will be taken up tomorrow, advancing the date of their hearing from December one. Others whose bail pleas will be heard tomorrow are DMK-run Kaliagnar TV MD Sharad Kumar and private firm Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd directors Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal.
During the proceedings, former Additional Solicitor General Altaf Ahmed and senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for Kanimozhi and Morani respectively, submitted that the situation of their clients was akin to that of the five corporate executives, who were granted bail yesterday(Wednesday) by the Supreme Court. "We are either similarly or better placed in relation to the accused who have already been granted bail. If possible, please list them for hearing today itself," Luthra said. "Don`t send a wrong message to the general public that you are high and mighty," the court said while refusing to accede to their contention.
Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran, appearing for CBI, cited the apex court judgement on the bail applications of the five corporate executives, He, however, did not make his stand clear on whether he was supporting or opposing their petitions.
Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, was sent to Tihar Jail on May 20, while others in the case were arrested between February 2 and May 30, when Morani was taken into custody. Except Behura, all the five accused, whose bail pleas are pending with the high court at present, were named in the second CBI charge sheet, which dealt with the alleged routing of Rs 200 crore bribe through various firms to Kalaignar TV at the instance of Swan Telecom`s promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, a co-accused in the scam.
The apex court had granted bail to five corporate honchos — Unitech Limited MD Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom Director Vinod Goenka and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group executives Hari Nair, Gautam Doshi and Surendra Pipara, raising the hopes of early release of other jailed accused in the case.
Former Telecom Minister A Raja, who was among the first to be arrested in the case along with his Private Secretary R K Chandolia and former Telecom Secretary Behura on February 2, is yet to move any court for bail.
Two others, Chandolia and Shahid Usman Balwa, are yet to approach the high court against the trial court`s November 3 order, rejecting their bail pleas along with those of Kanimozhi and five others, who have challenged the decision.