Bail pleas of Kanimozhi, five others to be heard Friday

November 24th, 2011 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Thursday allowed the early hearing of the bail pleas of DMK MP Kanimozhi and five others accused in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation case.

Justice V.K. Shali said the matter would be heard Friday morning.

Directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that is probing the case and defence counsel, Justice Shali asked them to submit a statement on the charges levelled against all the six accused and the evidence so far against them.

Kanimozhi and the five other accused moved the court Wednesday for early hearing of their bail applications after the Supreme 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. With the five getting bail, nine accused now remain behind bars.

Besides Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV chief Sharad Kumar, Cineyug Films’ Karim Morani, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd. directors Asif Balwa and Rajiv B. Agarwal, along with former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura have moved bail applications originally slated for Dec 1 hearing.

Citing the Supreme Court order, Kanimozhi in her plea stated that keeping her in custody for some more days would be a violation of her fundamental rights and that she should be granted bail as even the CBI was not opposing her plea.

Earlier this month, the high court had issued notice to the CBI seeking its response on bail applications of the six by Dec 1.

After CBI Special Court Judge O.P. Saini rejected their bail pleas Nov 3, they moved the high court Nov 5. The special court dismissed their bail pleas despite the investigating agency not opposing their applications.

Counsel for Kanimozhi told the high court that the special court wrongly made a distinction between women belonging to various classes of society even when the provision did not seek to do that.

“Besides, the apex court had in June granted her the liberty to apply for bail after charges were framed in the case,” she said.

During the hearing, the CBI read out a portion of the Supreme Court order granting bail to five corporate executives who are co-accused in the 2G case.

Behura was arrested along with former telecom minister A. Raja Feb 2, and since then he is languishing in Tihar Jail. Asif Balwa and Agarwal are in judicial custody since March 30.

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

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