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2G case: Kanimozhi and four others get bail

New Delhi, Nov 28 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday granted bail to DMK MP Kanimozhi and four other accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case. The order on the bail plea of former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura was reserved.

Allowing bail to Kanimozhi and the other four, Justice V.K. Shali said all the five bail ‘applications are allowed’ as ‘there is no chance of their fleeing from the process of law’.

Besides Kanimozhi, bail was granted to Kalaignar TV chief Sharad Kumar, Cineyug Films’ Karim Morani, and Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd. directors Asif Balwa and Rajeev B. Agarwal.

Justice Shali said: ‘I allow bail application of all five accused persons. However, they are being directed to be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs.5 lakh each with two sureties for the like amount to the satisfaction of the special court.’

Conditions set by the Supreme Court while granting bail to five co-accused and telecom companies’ officials last week will also apply in the case of Kanimozhi and the other four, the high court said.

Justice Shali said: ‘If the accused persons directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts or the case so as to dissuade him to disclose facts, the CBI would have liberty to seek appropriate recalling of the order passed by this court.’

The court directed all the accused to surrender their passports and said ‘they must appear whenever they are called’ before the court.

‘Almost all the accused persons have roots in the society, though living in different parts of the country with varied interest, therefore, there is no chance of their fleeing from the process of law,’ said Justice Shali.

The court said that in any case ‘their movements can be regulated by imposing conditions set by the Supreme Court’.

‘Most of the evidence against the petitioners is documentary evidence and there is in my view be no prima facie evidence or likelihood which may persuade the court to doubt that the petitioners have reason to believe that they may create conditions which may not be conducive to hold free and fair trial,’ said Justice Shali.

On May 20, Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar were named co-accused and sent to judicial custody. Ten days later Morani also joined them in jail.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) earlier opposed Behura’s bail, saying that he, along with former telecom minister A. Raja and his former private secretary R.K. Chandolia, was involved in the conspiracy for grant of telecom licences.

The probe agency did not oppose the bail applications of Kanimozhi and the other four.

Behura, Kanimozhi and four others moved the court Nov 23 for early hearing of their bail applications after the apex court granted bail to five corporate executives co-accused in the case — Sanjay Chandra of Unitech Wireless, Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom and Reliance Group’s Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair.

The apex court ordered the release of the five co-accused, in custody since April, on a surety of Rs.5 lakh each but also allowed the CBI to seek a review if the bail was misused.

Now, only four individuals, of the 14 arrested by the CBI in the case, remain behind bars. These are Raja, Behura, Chandolia and Swan Telecom’s Shahid Usman Balwa.

Bail applications of Chandolia and Shahid Usman Balwa would be taken up by CBI Special Court Judge O.P. Saini Wednesday.

Raja has still not applied for bail since his arrest Feb 2.

Raja, a DMK MP, resigned as minister Nov 14 last year after the Comptroller and Auditor General reported that the faulty auction process in the allocation of second-generation telephony had led to a notional loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore.

Source: Yahoo News

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