CBI: Not opposed to Balwa release on bail

New Delhi: The CBI today told a Delhi court that it would not oppose the bail plea of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa in the 2G case keeping in view the the Supreme Court and High Court orders granting bail to other co-accused in the case.

"As an officer of this court, considering the umbrella charges with individual charges framed against the accused, we are not opposing the bail plea at this juncture in view of the Supreme Court and High Court orders," Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit told Special CBI judge O P Saini.

He said the charges framed against Balwa are similar to those against co-accused and Swan Telecom Director Vinod Goenka, who has been granted bail by the Supreme Court. Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for Balwa, said his client is the only private person who is still in judicial custody.

He cited the High Court order granting bail to Kanimozhi and four others, to drive home the point that bail is the rule and the court should consider that an accused is innocent until proven guilty.

The court has reserved its order on Balwa`s bail plea for 2:30 PM and is likely to hear the arguments on bail plea of former Telecom Minister A Raja`s ex-private secretary R K Chandolia at 2 PM. .

Balwa and Chandolia had moved their bail pleas on the ground of parity after the Supreme Court on November 23 granted bail to five corporate executives — Unitech Limited`s MD Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom`s Director Vinod Goenka and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group`s executives Hari Nair, Gautam Doshi and Surrendra Pipara.

Taking cue from the Supreme Court order, the Delhi High Court on Monday granted bail to DMK MP Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Bollywood filmmaker Karim Morani and Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd directors Rajiv Aggarwal and Asif Balwa.