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2G Spectrum scam
Still no bail for Kanimozhi, 4 others
2G Spectrum scam Court to consider bail only after eyewitnesses are examined 
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, November 3
The Special CBI Court today refused to grant bail to Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and four other accused in the 2G scam case, holding that gender, sickness, framing of charges or the period of imprisonment already undergone cannot be a ground for releasing them.

This is the fourth time Kanimozhi has been refused bail. In her three earlier attempts for bail, including one heard by the Supreme Court, the CBI had contested her petitions.

In a detailed 76-page order, Special Judge OP Saini said letting out the accused on bail at this stage would send out a wrong signal and encourage large-scale corruption.

On Kanimozhi’s plea for bail on the ground of being a woman, the judge said Section 437 CrPC was meant for women who required “some extra protection and a sympathetic treatment” due to the fact they were weak or socially or economically exploited. But Kanimozhi “belongs to upper echelons of the society and is also a Member of Parliament. By no stretch of imagination she can be said to be suffering from any discrimination on the grounds of being a woman alone,” Judge Saini remarked.

The other four accused whose bail pleas were rejected today are Sharad Kumar (MD of Kalaignar TV in which Kanimozhi is a stakeholder), Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal (Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables) and Karim Morani (Bollywood producer).

The CBI said Swan Telecom, a beneficiary of the 2G scam, paid a bribe of Rs 206 crore in the form of investment in Kalaignar TV with the help of Balwa, Agarwal and Morani who acted as conduits.

The trial court made it clear that it would consider granting bail to the accused in the case only after recording the statements of the eyewitnesses in the case.

“The facts of the case as well as the charges levelled against the accused are of a very serious nature having grave implications for the economy of the country,” the fast-track court ruled. The court was set up at the instance of the Supreme Court to hold a trial exclusively in the 2G case on a day-to-day basis.

Rejecting the contentions of the five that they were not named in the first chargesheet filed against former Telecom Minister A Raja (main accused) and 11 others, the judge said “there is practically one chargesheet/case” before the court as it had already decided to merge the chargesheets.

The judge also refused to accept the CBI’s “no-objection” stand or the contention that the accused were unlikely to tamper with evidence or influence witnesses.

“This is a case of unprecedented nature. The facts and circumstances of the case itself suggest that the witnesses would be under a lot of pressure, given the serious consequences of the case for the parties,” the judge noted.

This was “further compounded” by the fact that the witnesses were employees, relatives, family members, colleagues and subordinates of the accused persons, the court observed.

“Where the allegations and charges levelled against the accused are of grave nature, such no-objection, in my humble opinion, is of no legal consequence,” the judge reasoned.

On the plea that the accused were entitled to bail in view of the fact that the court had framed charges against them, the judge said the case had now “crystallised against the accused persons in clear terms” as it had moved to a higher pedestal -- from the stage of suspicion or grave suspicion to the stage of prima facie acceptability.

Karuna ‘very upset’

Chennai: DMK chief M Karunanidhi is "very upset" over rejection of bail to his daughter and party MP Kanimozhi. "Karunanidhi was hoping that Kanimozhi would be given bail as the CBI has not opposed her bail plea. He is very upset and had not spoken to anybody, including family members after he came to know of the dismissal of the bail application today," sources close to the DMK supremo said.

Not end of road, says Cong

New Delhi: Observing that the rejection of DMK MP Kanimozhi's bail plea is not the end of the road, the Congress Thursday said the court order should not be extrapolated to play up or play down the political relationship between two political parties. "Invariably, it has been seen while one court may take a particular view, another court may take another view, but ultimately the bottom line remains that it is for the court to take a considerate view of the matter and come at an appropriate conclusion," said Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari.

It’s a slap on CBI's face: BJP

New Delhi: The rejection of DMK MP Kanimozhi's bail application was a slap in the face of the CBI, which had not opposed her plea, the BJP said. "The change of stands by the CBI in Kanimozhi's case is very shocking. The court hasn't taken cognizance of the CBI plea; it is a slap on the face of the CBI. BJP spokesperson Balbir Punj said. — Agencies

Kani Breaks down

Tears welled up in her eyes and she hugged her mother but soon the normally-composed DMK MP Kanimozhi lost her cool and asked journalists to leave her alone in the court which rejected her bail application. Dressed in an orange salwar-kameez, Kanimozhi wept and hugged her mother Rajathi Ammal minutes after her bail plea was rejected.





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