2G: Supreme Court breather for Chandolia

December 7th, 2011 - 10:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday suspended the operation of the Delhi High Court order that overrode the special CBI court’s grant of bail to former telecom minister A. Raja’s then personal secretary R.K. Chandolia in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Within hours of the apex court offering a breather to Chandolia, the Delhi High Court adjourned till Jan 5 the hearing on its decision to review the bail granted to him by the trial court Dec 1.

The apex court bench of Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice S.S. Nijjar and Justice J. Chelameswar stayed the high court proceedings after senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi mentioned the matter before the court.

The apex court bench initially expressed its reluctance to hear the plea as bail applications relating to the 2G case were being heard by the special bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice H.L. Dattu.

But the bench ordered suspension of the high court proceedings after Rohtagi told it that the high court, which was scheduled to hold a hearing on the issue later in the day, may cancel the bail granted to Chandolia.

Chandolia was granted bail Dec 1 by the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court hearing the 2G case. The high court, on its own initiative, stayed the bail Dec 2 and directed Chandolia to appear before it Wednesday.

The high court noted that Chandolia was a member the Indian Economic Service and the grant of bail to him “is going to have an impact on the bail application of Siddhartha Behura (co-accused and former telecom secretary), on which order has been reserved…”

Chandolia in his petition told the apex court that the high court cancelled his bail order merely going by the newspaper reports and without “seeing the reason stated in the order while granting bail”.

The high court order was “unreasonable” which “does not stand in the eyes of the law”, Chandolia said.

Following the apex court interim order, Delhi High Court Justice V.K. Shali said: “The matter shall be heard on Jan 5, next year.”

On Dec 2, taking suo motu cognisance of Chandolia’s bail order reported in media, Justice Shali said: “The decision on his (Chandolia) application for grant of bail is going to have impact on the bail application of former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, on which order has been reserved, apart from the fact, question arises as to whether the order of grant of bail was just, proper or arbitrary or unreasonable, having regard to the facts of the case and the allegation made qua him.”

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