Armed with a battery of lawyers, jailed top executives of private companies facing prosecution in the 2G scam case invoked a variety of causes on Thursday to persuade the Delhi High Court to grant them bail. Justice Ajit Bharihoke, however, rejected their pleas for interim bail till the disposal of their applications for a regular bail.
After more than six hours of arguments by counsel for the accused executives — Unitech Managing Director Sanjay Chandra, DB Realty Managing Director Vinod Goenka and Reliance ADA Group top officials Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair — Justice Bharihoke adjourned the hearing to Tuesday as the Court is closed on Friday for Good Friday and Saturday is a holiday. They would remain in jail for another four days.
They had earlier appeared before the designated court in the wake of summons issued to them following the filing of a charge sheet by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The court dismissed their bail applications on Wednesday saying the “the charges against them are of highest magnitude and gravity.”
They had mentioned their pleas for bail in the High Court immediately after this, submitting that they had to journey back to Mumbai to attend to urgent business matters. However, the court refused to take up their applications on an urgent basis. It asked them to come on Thursday for arguments.
“A matter of right”
Initiating the argument for Sanjay Chandra, K.T.S. Tulsi submitted that there was no point in keeping his client in judicial custody when the investigation was over and the charge sheet had been filed. Besides, his client had joined the investigation 27 times. He cited a Delhi High Court judgment in support of his argument that when the charge sheet was filed in a case, bail became a matter of right for the accused.
The court rejected Mr. Tulsi's plea for interim bail out of hand saying that there was no point in making out an argument for interim bail when he had already begun arguing for a regular bail.
Counsel for Vinod Goenka, Mukul Rohtagi, argued that foreign investments would be put to risk if his client was not granted bail as both the directors were in jail. He said the image of the country as a destination for foreign investments could be tarnished.
Counsel for Gautam Doshi, Ranjit Kumar, submitted that the Attorney-General in his opinion had given the green signal to Reliance ADA's investment in Swan Telecom. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs had also given a clean chit to the investment.
Counsel for Surendra Pipara, Neeraj Kishan Kaul, submitted that the trial court refused to grant bail to his client despite the investigating agency not opposing his plea.
Counsel for Hari Nair, Rajeev Nayar, submitted that his client was the only bread winner for his family and had a four-year-old child to take care of.