2G: Kanimozhi, 4 other accused given bail by HC

New Delhi: In a huge relief to DMK MP Kanimozhi and four others who have been in Tihar jail for over six months for their alleged role in the 2G case, the Delhi High Court today granted them bail treating them on par with five others released by the Supreme Court last week. "I grant bail to five persons. The conditions would be same as imposed by the Supreme Court," Justice V K Shali said.

Besides Kanimozhi, others who were granted bail are Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Bollywood filmmaker Karim Morani and Kusegaon Fruits and vegetables Pvt Ltd directors Rajiv Aggarwal and Asif Balwa.

The court, however, reserved its order on the bail plea of sixth accused and former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura, saying it will pronounce its judgement later as his plea has been opposed by the CBI. "You (Behura) file your written submissions to the contentions of the CBI," Justice Shali told Behura`s counsel, senior advocate Aman Lekhi.

Earlier, during the day, Additonal Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran said the probe agency was not opposed to grant of bail to the five persons except Behura and they can be released on the ground of parity as the Supreme Court has already given the same benefit to five other co-accused in the case.

The ASG, however, opposed Behura`s bail plea saying the bail pleas of public servants require stricter scrutiny as they are the trustees of public property.

Kanimozhi and five others had moved the high court on November 23 for advancing the hearing of their bail pleas, shortly after the Supreme Court had granted bail to five corporate executives — Unitech Limited MD Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom Director Vinod Goenka and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group executives Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara.

Their bail pleas were earlier scheduled for hearing on December 1. Kanimozhi and five others had come to the apex court challenging the trial court`s November 3 order denying them the bail.

The Supreme Court had granted bail to the five corporate honchos on the condition that they would surrender their passports and will not go abroad without the court`s permission. It had further said that the accused will have to appear before the Special CBI court on each hearing and have to take prior permission for not attending the proceedings.

Former Telecom Minister A Raja, who is the main accused in the scam, has so far not approached any court for bail. Other accused in the case include Raja`s former Private Secretary R K Chandolia and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa.

Three telecom firms Reliance Telecom Ltd, Swan Telecom and Unitech (Tamil Nadu) Wireless Ltd too have been listed as accused in the CBI cahrgesheet in the case. The CBI had chargesheeted 14 persons in the scam, with Raja being the first to be arrested on February 2, along with Chandolia and Behura.