The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed DMK Member of Parliament Kanimozhi's bail plea in the 2G spectrum allocation case and questioned the Central Bureau of Investigation for its failure to interrogate the accused for recovering certain documents.
However, the court offered her some hope, saying she could approach the trial court for bail once charges are framed. It said she shall be entitled to invoke Section 437 of the Criminal Procedure Code “(when bail may be taken in case of non-bailable offence),” which provides for, among other things, grant of bail if the person is under the age of 16 or is a woman or is sick or infirm.
The CBI is likely to file soon a third charge sheet soon after which the special CBI court is expected to frame charges.
A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and B.S. Chauhan ticked off counsel for Kanimozhi and co-accused Sharad Kumar (Kalaignar TV managing Director) when they claimed that the two were innocent and were not hungry for money.
“Hungry people neither take bribe nor do they come to the courts. None of them [accused] is a hungry person,” the Bench said when senior counsel Altaf Ahmed argued that the accused were “not hungry for money,” and the Rs. 200 crore transferred to Kalaignar TV was part of a loan amount.
The court order came as a surprise for the lawyers and family members of the two accused as they were hopeful of getting relief from the Bench.
Defence argument that Ms. Kanimozhi and Mr. Kumar, whose bail plea was also rejected, were no longer required for investigation as the CBI had so far not interrogated them prompted the Bench to ask the agency why it failed to interrogate her.
It also asked senior counsel A.S. Chandiok, appearing for the CBI, what prevented the investigating agency from recovering certain documents.
“What is preventing you from recovering the documents? Why did you not interrogate them? Have they been interrogated? Why were they not questioned?”
Mr. Chandiok replied the probe was on.
The Bench was not impressed with defence plea that the accused were willing to abide by any condition for bail and even the former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was granted bail in a sexual molestation case.
“Let us keep the media discussions outside. It tends to blur our thinking,” the Bench said.
It did not agree with the plea of senior counsel Sushil Kumar that Ms. Kanimozhi should be granted bail as she has a 10-year-old child to look after and that she was being denied his company. “That happens to all other women,” it said.
Mr. Sushil Kumar pleaded that since Ms. Kanimozhi was not charged with any IPC offence, the maximum sentence that she could face in the event of her conviction was six years and hence she should be granted bail.