Legal Blog: 2G Scam : Bail Plea of Corporate Honchos Rejected by Delhi HC

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

2G Scam : Bail Plea of Corporate Honchos Rejected by Delhi HC

Source : Economic Times

The Delhi High Court rejected the bail pleas of five senior corporate executives accused in the second-generation (2G) spectrum case. 

Justice Ajit Bharihoke denied bail to Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom,Sanjay Chandra of Unitech and three officials of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group -- Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara. 

Except Pipara, who is in hospital, all the others are in Delhi's Tihar jail. 

The 2G scam relates to alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum to telecom companies that caused huge losses to the national exchequer. 

"Charges against Doshi in the second generation telecom spectrum case are baseless and denial of bail goes against his personal liberty," his counsel Soli Sorabjee, former attorney general and solicitor general of India, told the court. 

Chandra was defended by senior lawyers Ram Jethmalani and K.T.S. Tulsi.

Mukul Rohtagi argued for Goenka, Nair was represented by Rajiv Nayar and Pipara's bail plea was argued by Neeraj Kishan Kaul. 

During the course of arguments, Special Public Prosecutor U.U. Lalit said: "The corporates and the accused were direct beneficiaries of the entire spectrum deal and they were involved in a conspiracy along with (former communications minister) A. Raja to obtain benefit from the grant of spectrum licences". 

He said the corporates were part of a conspiracy where huge amount of money was involved and they had also forged some documents to obtain spectrum licences. 

The case reached the high court April 20, after a trial court rejected their bail applications, terming their pleas as "meritless" in the face of "serious allegations" and "incriminating evidence" in a chargesheet filed by the CBI. 

The accused had then filed pleas for interim bail for one week so that they could move the high court against the trial court order, but that plea was also rejected. 

The five corporate executives, named in the CBI chargesheet, were not arrested during the probe. But they were taken into custody April 20 after the trial court rejected their bail pleas. 

Earlier, opposing their bail pleas, the CBI said some of the key witnesses belonging to the corporate world worked directly under the five accused and the possibility of their influencing the witnesses could not be ruled out. 

The first chargesheet April 2 had named, besides Raja, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, Raja's aide R.K. Chandolia, Goenka, Chandra, Doshi, Nair and Pipara. 

In its April 25 supplementary chargesheet, the CBI named DMK chief M. Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi, and Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar as co-conspirators after it traced an illegal money trail of Rs.214 crore in the scam. 

Both were arrested May 20 and sent to Tihar jail. 

The supplementary chargesheet also named Cineyug Film's Karim Morani as well as Asif Balwa and Rajiv B. Aggarwal of Kusegaon Realty. 

Pipara was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) May 4 after he fainted in the courtroom. 

Except him and Morani, who has been granted exemption from personal appearance in court due to ill-health, all those chargesheeted by the CBI are lodged in the Tihar Jail. 

CBI prosecutor A.K. Singh said the third supplementary chargesheet will be filed in the first week of July.

Find the orders passed by Justice Ajit Bharihoke in the above matters here;

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