The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed the bail applications of five top executives of private companies in the 2G scam on the grounds of gravity of allegations against them. Noting that the possibility of their influencing witnesses in view of their clout, the court observed: “They are now aware of the identities of the witnesses as well as their incriminating statements given during the investigation.”
Dismissing the bail applications of Unitech managing director Sanjay Chandra, DB Realty managing director Vinod Goenka, and Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, Justice Bharihoke said it was due to their clout that the CBI did not arrest them during investigation.
“It is evident that despite having collected prima facie evidence of involvement of the petitioners in the deep-rooted conspiracy involving corrupt practices by the public servants to cause huge wrongful gains to the favoured companies of the petitioners running into thousands of crores of rupees, neither the petitioners were arrested by the CBI nor were they taken into custody and produced before the court along with the charge sheet as envisaged under Section 170 of the Criminal Procedure Code. This circumstance, in itself, gives an insight into the influence wielded by the petitioners,” Justice Bharihoke said.
“… taking into account the gravity of the accusations against the petitioners and a reasonable possibility of their interfering with the process of justice by tampering with the evidence, I do not deem it appropriate to release the petitioners on bail at this stage when further investigations are going on and the trial is yet to begin,” the judge said in his 34-page order.
Justice Bharihoke said there was no guarantee that they would not influence the witnesses and tamper with evidence though there was no allegation against them of influencing witnesses and interfering with evidence during the probe.
“It cannot be ignored that during investigation the petitioners could not have known the identities of the witnesses. The situation has changed after the filing of charge sheet. The petitioners are now aware of the identities of the witnesses and incriminating statements made by them. Therefore, given the magnitude of the offence and the role played by the petitioners in the scam, there is a reasonable likelihood of the petitioners tampering with the witnesses, particularly when employed in the companies controlled by them,” Justice Bharihoke said.
The petitioners had moved the High Court following rejection of their bail applications by the special court set up to try the 2G case.