Silence, anxiety, some tears, as charges read in 2G caseOctober 22nd, 2011 - 8:54 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) The Special Court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at Patiala House here was enveloped in suspenseful and anxious silence minutes before Judge O.P. Saini read the charges against the 14 accused and three companies in the famous 2G telecom spectrum case.
Packed to capacity, no one even spoke in whispers, waiting eagerly for the charges. But once Judge Saini started reading the operative part of the 456-page charges at 12:05 p.m., the faces of a few accused ran out of colour, while others remained nervous.
Relatives of a few were seen praying with folded hands.
Clad in a white shirt and black trouser, former telecom minister A. Raja, the prime accused in the case, seemed taken aback by the enormity of charges, which even call for life imprisonment if found guilty, while fellow DMK party colleague and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi looked a bit confused.
Raja’s counsel Sushil Kumar vehemently objected to the charges and declined even to say “not guilty” for a brief moment, while Kanimozhi looked a bit relaxed after another DMK leader T.R. Baalu explained the relatively leaner impact of charges against her.
With a smile on her face, a calm Kanimozhi was seen sitting next to her husband with her son sitting on her lap. Kanimozhi kept ruffling her son’s hair.
Among the rest, the mother and wife of Swan Telecom’s Shahid Usman Balwa started crying loud after he was charged with cheating with criminal intent, presenting false evidence, as also under the Prevention of Corruption Act with punishment for criminal conspiracy.
The three officials of Reliance Group also appeared calm and collected as they were charged with abetment and cheating, while the counsels of others took objection to the veracity of the charges and said they will not plead guilty or otherwise.
Judge O.P. Saini advised the accused to affix their signatures on the relevant papers so that he could begin trial. “Charges have been framed, read over and explained to each accused, to which they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.”
Once the counsels relented, the judge fixed Nov 11 as the date for start of trial.
“Before that, I will call the 28 witnesses for examination,” he said, adding that none of the co-accused need to be present in the court before that unless the investigative agency makes a specific request to that effect.
The charges were initially expected at 10 in the morning but the court staff said it was being postponed to 10:30 a.m. This was again deferred till 11:30 a.m. and finally the charges were read out at 12:05 p.m.
For eight of the 14 accused, including Kanimozhi and the three Reliance Group officials, Monday is another crucial day. Judge O.P. Saini will hear their bail applications. For the rest, lawyers said, they can move the courts again for bail.
- Trial in 2G scam to begin Friday - Nov 10, 2011
- Court allows Kanimozhi to attend agitation in Tamil Nadu - Jul 03, 2012
- Spectrum of charges against Raja, 13 accused in 2G case - Oct 22, 2011
- Kanimozhi allowed to attend father's birthday bash June 3 - May 31, 2012
- Permission sought for fresh charges against 2G accused - Sep 26, 2011
- Kanimozhi, Sharad Kumar's bail plea order after 2.30 p.m. (Second Lead) - May 20, 2011
- 2G: Notice to CBI on Behura's bail plea - Nov 16, 2011
- Bail orders reserved, dark Diwali for Kanimozhi, six others - Oct 24, 2011
- CBI witnesses' statements made court frame 2G charges - Oct 23, 2011
- Kanimozhi seeks bail, court to decide Saturday (Roundup) - May 06, 2011
- Kanimozhi, Sharad Kumar in custody after bail denied (Lead) - May 20, 2011
- 2G case: Decision on Chandolia's bail plea Thursday (Lead) - Nov 30, 2011
- Court allows Raja, Kanimozhi to vote in presidential poll - Jul 18, 2012
- 2G scam: Kanimozhi, Sharad Kumar appear in CBI court (Lead) - May 06, 2011
- Bail pleas of Kanimozhi, five others to be heard Friday - Nov 24, 2011
Tags: central bureau of investigation, criminal conspiracy, criminal intent, dmk leader, dmk party, enormity, false evidence, folded hands, life imprisonment, mother and wife, page charges, patiala, prevention of corruption act, rajya sabha, relevant papers, reliance group, sabha member, shahid, smile on her face, sushil kumar