Two Supreme Court judges, who were to hear on Monday the bail plea of DMK MP Kanimozhi, an accused in the 2G scam, on Friday recused themselves from the hearing.
Now, Justice G.S. Singhvi, whose Bench has been monitoring the case, will, along with Justice B.S. Chauhan, hold a special hearing on Monday to decide on the bail applications of Ms. Kanimozhi and co-accused Sharad Kumar, Kalaignar TV Managing Director. According to informed sources, Justices P. Sathasivam and A.K. Patnaik conveyed their decision to recuse themselves to Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, who then constituted another Bench with Justices Singhvi and Chauhan. Earlier in the day, the Central Bureau of Investigation filed an affidavit opposing the bail pleas, on the ground that Ms. Kanimozhi and Mr. Kumar, if released, could tamper with evidence and influence witnesses.
The CBI contended that the two were key conspirators and the Rs. 200 crore transferred to Kalaignar TV was part of the “bribe” amount and not a loan as claimed by the accused.
As investigation into the 2G case was at an advanced stage, it would not be proper to grant them bail. The agency submitted that the CBI special court and later the Delhi High Court had refused them bail, after evaluating material evidence and other factors.
On June 13, the Supreme Court had asked the CBI to explain where the Rs. 200 crore had gone and to file a response on their bail pleas in a week.
A Bench of Justices Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar also asked the agency to come out with a status report on the loss to the exchequer due to the award of 13 licences to one of the telecom operators and on trial proceedings in the CBI special court.
Ms. Kanimozhi and Mr. Kumar have a 20 per cent stake each in Kalaignar TV, which allegedly received Rs. 200 crore through a “circuitous” route from the Shahid Balwa-promoted DB Realty. DMK chief M. Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, who does not figure in the list of the accused, owns the remaining 60 per cent shares.
Ms. Kanimozhi and Mr. Kumar are currently lodged in the Tihar Jail.