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Updated: November 29, 2011 11:44 IST

Bail pleas of Kanimozhi, other accused adjourned to Monday

Staff Reporter
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In this file photo, 2G case accused and DMK MP Kanimozhi arrives at the Patiala House court.
PTI In this file photo, 2G case accused and DMK MP Kanimozhi arrives at the Patiala House court.

The Delhi High Court on Friday adjourned the hearing on the bail applications of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi and five other accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case to Monday.

Justice V.K. Shali adjourned the hearing to grant time to the Central Bureau of Investigation and defence to explain the applicability of the Supreme Court order granting bail to five corporate honchos in the case to the pleas of the accused seeking bail from the High Court in view of there having been no mention of Indian Penal Code Section 409 (criminal breach of trust) in the Apex Court order.

The conspiracy to commit criminal breach of trust slapped against all the 17 accused — 14 persons and three companies — provides for the maximum punishment of life imprisonment if the charges against them are proved.

However, while granting bail to the five corporate honchos, the Supreme Court had observed that the maximum sentence was seven years.

Referring to the observation, Justice Shali said that while he did not presume that the Supreme Court had not been aware of the charge of criminal breach of trust that the special court had slapped against the accused persons at the time of framing the charges on an application by the investigating agency, the fact remained that there was no mention of it in the Apex Court's bail order.

Justice Shali asked how he could presume that the trial court would award the accused persons a maximum sentence of only seven years when Section 409 provided for the maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

In reply, counsel for Kanimozhi, Altaf Ahmed, submitted that the Supreme Court was aware of slapping of Section 409 against the accused while granting bail to the five accused and the order was binding on all the courts.

The investigating agency, in its submission, said it was not opposing the bail applications of Ms. Kanimozhi and the other five accused in view of the Supreme Court order granting bail to the five honchos.

The Court was hearing the bail applications of the six accused persons—Kanimozhi, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, filmmaker Karim Morani, DMK-run Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd director Rajeev Agarwal and Asif Balwa of DB Realty after the date of hearing was advanced from the earlier scheduled date of December 1 as the accused had sought early hearing in the wake of the Apex Court's bail to the five honchos.

The accused persons are now in judicial custody after their earlier bail pleas were rejected by the special court, the High Court and the Supreme Court. The special court had remanded them in judicial custody when they had appeared before it on summons after filing of the charge sheet by the investigating agency earlier this year.

In my humble view, the Apex Court has set a very wrong precedent in handling an extrordinary case of Corruption, both in magnitude and criminality where normal conditions as laid down by jurisprudence should not take precedence over the possible pros and cons of allowing these worst criminals to be let off the hook. IT appears that all the 2G accused including Raja , if he applies for one , will walk away smiling and waving in a matter of days, and then the same Judicial System and a section of the Media such as yours which vociferously pitched-in for a Bail for Ms. Kanimozhi and co. will be helpless witnesses to a grand play of witness tampering and evidence annihilation. At the end of it all, like in movies, where the doctor tells grieving relatives that they were unable to save the patient, the CBI will file a affidavit , declaring no sufficient grounds at that stage of the case to prosecute the culprits and attend a dinner with a belly-dance hosted by its Political Masters.

from:  K.S.Ranganathan
Posted on: Nov 26, 2011 at 07:15 IST
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