New Delhi: Bail hearings of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi and five others in the 2G case will continue in the Delhi high court on Monday after arguments couldn’t conclude on Friday.
Kanimozhi and the other accused had moved the high court earlier this week after the Supreme Court granted bail to five corporate executives who have also been named in the case.
The high court took up the bail petitions of Kanimozhi and others for an early hearing because of the apex court ruling on Wednesday.
Seeking relief: Kanimozhi. Photo: Hindustan Times
The Delhi high court on Friday raised some unexpected questions, and said the SC ruling, which granted bail to the five company executives in the 2G spectrum case, was “silent” on a charge against all the accused which attracts the maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
“The Supreme Court judgement does not mention Section 409 (criminal breach of trust which provides for life term as maximum punishment) of the IPC. I am not saying that the apex court was ignorant of the fact (409) but it is silent on the issue,” observed Justice V. K. Shali during the hearing.
“The day the order (on bail) was passed, charges were crystallized in the trial court and it cannot be said that this fact was not known to the Hon’ble Supreme Court. How do we assume that trial judge would award maximum seven years sentence and not life term under section 409?” he asked.
Senior lawyer Altaf Ahmed, appearing for Kanimozhi, argued that the SC was aware of the serious charges when it passed the verdict, and that its ruling would be applicable to all the accused in the case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is opposing some of the bail pleas, is expected to conclude its arguments on Monday.
Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, and former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura are also seeking bail along with Kanimozhi.
Meanwhile, promoter of Etisalat DB Teleservices Shahid Balwa and former private secretary to A. Raja, R.K. Chandolia moved applications for bail before special judge O.P. Saini in the trial court. However, the lawyer for Balwa and Chandolia said he couldn’t begin arguments because the CBI had not decided whether it was opposing bail for either of them.
Special public prosecutor Uday Lalit said he was not sure what position the prosecution could take immediately since the high court was still hearing the bail pleas. “I don’t know the status of the bail applications pending in the high court. I’m not sure if this has a bearing on this or not. That is why we are not taking a stand,” Lalit said to judge Saini.
Former telecom minister A. Raja is the only accused who has not moved any court for bail. His lawyers have said that he was awaiting the fate of Kanimozhi and others before deciding whether he should apply for bail.
On Thursday, the CBI submitted to Saini’s court a second list of witnesses, including former chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Nripendra Mishra, to be summoned and examined in the 2G spectrum allocation case. CBI gave the names of 12 witnesses to be summoned from 2 to 23 December.
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