2G scam: Order on bail pleas of five executives reserved (Lead)

May 9th, 2011 - 9:14 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday reserved its order on the bail pleas of five corporate executives named co-accused in the second generation (2G) telecom spectrum case and sent to judicial custody by a lower court.

Justice Ajit Bharihoke reserved his order after Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) counsel and defence counsel completed their arguments.

The five accused are Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom, Sanjay Chandra of Unitech and three officials of the Anil Ambani Group: Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara.

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”.

“Some firms were floated only to transfer money that changed hands following the grant of spectrum licences to beneficiary telecom firms and they were closed once their purpose was served,” he said, while opposing the bail pleas of the accused.

“Raja advanced the cut-off date for submitting application for spectrum allocation and also altered the licensing policy to favour Swan Telecom and Unitech… their involvement is clear. No bail should be granted to them,” he said.

The accused were part of a conspiracy where huge amount of money was transacted. They had also forged some documents to obtain spectrum licences, he said.

Defence counsel for all the accused concluded their arguments Friday.

The case reached the high court after a trial court rejected their bail applications, terming their pleas as “meritless” in the face of “serious allegations” and “incriminating evidence” in a charge sheet filed by the CBI.

The accused 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 charge sheet, were not arrested during the probe.

The CBI opposed their bail pleas and said earlier that some of the key witnesses, belonging to the corporate world, worked directly under the five accused and the possibility of the accused winning them over could not be ruled out.

Among the accused who are in judicial custody are: Raja, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, Raja’s former personal secretary R.K. Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, his brother Asif Balwa, Rajiv B. Agarwal of Kusegaon Realty, Goenka, Chandra, Doshi and Nair.

Pipara has been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for treatment.

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