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Updated: November 1, 2011 00:43 IST

Why bail plea of Kanimozhi, four others not opposed, Supreme Court asks CBI

J. Venkatesan
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In this May 20, 2011 photo DMK MP Kanimozhi arrives at the Patiala House court in New Delhi.
PTI In this May 20, 2011 photo DMK MP Kanimozhi arrives at the Patiala House court in New Delhi.

Inform what transpired at trial court on October 24, Bench tells Additional Solicitor-General

The Supreme Court on Monday questioned the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for not opposing bail in respect of certain accused (Ms. Kanimozhi and four others) while opposing it in some cases in the 2G case before the trial court on October 24.

A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and H.L. Dattu, hearing bail applications of five corporate executives, referred to the submissions of senior counsel Ram Jethmalani about a statement made on behalf of the CBI in the trial court that it was not opposing bail in respect of Ms. Kanimozhi and four others and asked Additional Solicitor-General Harin Raval to inform by Tuesday as to what transpired in the trial court on October 24.

The five accused who had sought bail in the Supreme Court are Unitech Wireless' Managing Director Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom's Director Vinod Goenka and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group's executives Hari Nair, Gautam Doshi and Surendra Pipara.

Justice Singhvi told Mr. Raval: “If the investigative agency was sure that evidence will not be tampered with by these [five] accused, then why were the accused still being kept in jail. When you are sure they will not tamper with evidence why keep them behind bars?”

Justie Dattu asked the ASG: “If that is so then what happens to the economic fabric chain which you have projected to the court.”

Justice Singhvi asked Mr. Raval to take instructions and inform the court by Tuesday whether it was a fact that the CBI made a statement before the trial court on October 24 that it was not opposing the bail for five accused.

During the course of hearing of these bail applications, Mr. Raval had informed the court that the CBI would oppose the bail applications of all accused in the trial court. However, on October 24, the CBI did not oppose the bail plea of Ms. Kanimozhi and four others (Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar; Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables; and film producer Karim Morani) and this was pointed out to the Bench by Mr. Jethmalani. This prompted the Bench to seek further clarification from the CBI in this regard as to what transpired in the trial court.

“Meaningless”

Mr. Jethmalani, appearing for Sanjay Chandra submitted that the CBI had not made out a prima facie case against his client. He said the charge of single or joint conspiracy against all the 17 accused was meaningless. Pointing out how the CBI was taking different stands against different accused, he said the accused were entitled to be released on bail whether the offence for which they were punishable was five years or seven years. He said the CBI should treat all the accused equally and could not take different stands. Whether on merits or otherwise on the principles of bail as laid down by the Supreme Court, his client was entitled to bail, Mr. Jethmalani said.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Mr. Vinod Goenka, drew the attention of the Bench to the 456-page order passed by the trial court for framing of charges as if he was passing order after recording of evidence. He said that on page 363 of the order, the trial judge had clearly stated that the loss due to the 2G scam had not been determined; it would have been better if this had been done.

Counsel wondered if there was no loss what was the case for. The entire jurisprudence on bail had been turned upside down by the trial court in this case, counsel said. .

Senior counsel Ashok Desai and Soli Sorabjee, who appeared for the other three accused, said they were entitled to be released on bail based on the well-laid-down principles. With Mr. Raval opposing bail to all the three accused, the Bench listed the case for further arguments on Tuesday.

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There cannot be a level playing field with the type of high flying lawyers (like Jethmalani, Rohtagi) ranged against the half- willing hare- brained lawyers representing CBI whose commitment to take this case to its logical end itself is in doubt. That the CBI openly favours the Party in power is evident from the type of treatment it is meting out to different parties in this case . There is no hope that the CBI will muster the courage to take this case to its logical end and secure conviction for the guilty.

from:  aks
Posted on: Nov 3, 2011 at 12:45 IST

The depressing state of affairs: Successive Govt. ministers & Babus have been hand in glove with gangsters & likes of Ambanis/ Tata/ Mittal/ Mallaya/Goel/ Ruia etc etc and have paid a number media houses to keep silent about their venal doings-in Telecom,Realty,CWG & Airlines etc. If the suspects are freed now the dance of corruption will reach a new frenzy.It is public interst to continue to keep the lot in Tihar.

from:  Bhujanga M V
Posted on: Nov 3, 2011 at 09:25 IST

More the CBI Favours to corrupt more the public opposition shall grow not only to CBI but to those who are responsible for the governance.It is for sure this will be conducive to the extent that one day public as lawyer will seek to oppose the act these agencies are doing if not permitted in court shall seek in open public courts.

from:  Dinesh
Posted on: Nov 2, 2011 at 14:38 IST

CBI is not performing its duty according to Law. It is upto the SC to safeguard the interests of India and people. CBI is acting as one of the Government Departments under central Government.

from:  Ramamoorthy
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 18:04 IST

if the top investigating agency of the country like CBI is not opposing bail for the reasons best known to it how can we think about the witnesses speaking the truth before the trial court.Fate of the trial can be well imagined from the begining.

from:  Gouri Shankar
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 17:31 IST

This shows the need of amending RTI act to cover all correspondence in government vsible to at least a body like Jan LOKPAL. No excuses like so called NATIONAL SECURITY etc. should come in its way.We know there are business lobbies in such departments which try to generate a smokescreen of various threats or needs(depending on circumstances) to promote their business interests.When the direct purchase by government departments becomes problematic, various ways are found out to circumvent the problems.

from:  Atis
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 11:25 IST

Selectively granting bail is uncalled for as all are co-conspirators. The time spent behind bars can be deducted from the final sentencing period once the trail is judged in its entirety. The loss to the exchequer is far too enormous in the 2G scam and hence there should not be any let up till the ill gotten wealth is impounded.

from:  Laxman Suvarna
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 11:03 IST

Why CMDA kept quite so long when the construction was not in line with their approval? Those officers should go to jail first. If they were silenced off - they should tell why and how they were done so.

from:  Kasimani Baskaran
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 09:21 IST

Supreme Court can understand what is happening aqround some important cases in which it is taking special care to monitor the case's trend. So now when the CBI did not oppose the bail petetion of Kanimozhi, this is after Mr. Karunanidhi, Kanimozhi's father,a supporting member of the present Central UPA Govt met Sonia Gandhi, Supreme Court got suspicious that CBI is under political pressure. If I say that I drank milk sitting in a liquor bar can you believe it. So CBI has become a tool in the hands of ruling party and they use them to settle their political scores!

from:  Thodla Venkatasubramanyam
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 08:59 IST

Ram Jethmalani,Mukul Rohtagi, Ashok Desai, Soli Sorabjee ..... with such legal luminaries on their side, there is hardly anything likely to happen to the accused in the 2G case. I wonder what would happen to an ordinary man - whose entire provident fund/ life's savings may not be able to hire any of these legal luminaries! Obviously everybody is not equal before the law. Some are more equal than the others! And ofcourse my friend tells me 'Law is an ass'.

from:  Rajiv Kumar
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 08:10 IST

I am sure the judges on the High Court bench are not "babes in the wood". I am sure they must have some "inkling" as to why CBI is not opposing the bail application of the thieves presently in jail. CBI is not an independent body. The officials are only dancing to the tunes of their criminal political masters.The criminals in jail are enjoying fine facilities set up for them there. Rest is all drama to show the public that government is serious about cracking down on corruption.

from:  Ram Sharma
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 07:49 IST

CBI will not prosecute any political leader in the 2G case as it will back fire on Congress and UPA leaders. We need to kick out the CBI officials for this stinking favouritism and who knows what is theire reward out of the 2G scam treasure by Kanimozhi.

from:  prasad
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 07:14 IST

Economic Terrorists do not require leniency or gender consideration.

from:  kumar
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 06:55 IST

This aunty, a mother, a sister, a daughter is also a politician. If she is so innocent how come she is involved in the manupulative dealings of Radia? You dont even neeed a peanut brain to guess why CBI did not oppose her bail. Where in India a powerful politician is punished? Who got the guts to challenge the daughter of a politician especially when his support is crtical for the survival of the goverment. We know the traits of this goverment. Will go any depth of filth just to hang on to power.

from:  Ayyappa
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 06:42 IST

This is a fit case for relieving CBI from Governmental control. Anna`s Lok Bal Bill must ensure that a portion of the CBI is brought totally under the Lok Pal otherwise it will be toothless.

from:  P C Chopra
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 06:27 IST

I begin to wonder why the CBI is not opposing the bail plea by the accused. It may be due to political pressure and influence and intervention by the tycoons involved in the scam. Who knows? When these accused are out,these filthy rich people may buy the judiciary and administrative authorities to act in their favour.This means that there is no eradication of the evil CORRUPTION.

from:  Ken Sundaram
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 05:07 IST

The answer is simple and the supreme court is only pretending not to know the reason. The judges have been bought over as much as the CBI. India will never progress with crookes leading the nations.

from:  Barat
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 02:58 IST

Those who are politically well connected are treated differently from others. It is necessary for the CBI to be a completly autonomous body so that it is not forced to act as per the dictates of the party in power.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Nov 1, 2011 at 02:01 IST
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