New Delhi: After spending more than six months in judicial custody, K. Kanimozhi, a lawmaker of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party, was on Monday granted bail by the Delhi high court along with four others facing charges in the second generation (2G) telecom spectrum scam.
However, Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar, film producer Karim Morani, and directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables, Rajiv Aggarwal and Asif Balwa, had to spend another night at New Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
Free again: Kanimozhi leaving court on Monday. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
The court’s verdict could not be brought to the special court hearing the case before judge O.P. Saini left for the day. Saini has to sign the release warrants, after which the five are expected to be released from custody on Tuesday.
Ten of the 14 people accused in the scam, which relates to alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum and licences, have now been granted bail.
While ruling in favour of the bail pleas of Kanimozhi and the four others, the high court followed the precedent set last week by the Supreme Court when it granted bail to five business executives in the case. “...the said benefit cannot be denied to the petitioners (Kanimozhi and others) on the grounds of parity,” justice V.K. Shali said in the judgement.
Bail was granted to each of them on two sureties of Rs 5 lakh. The high court laid down similar conditions for the bail as the apex court did last week. Those bailed have to surrender their passports, not tamper with evidence, and be present in the trial court daily. They can be sent back to jail if the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the case, finds they are violating these terms.
“I am very happy that Kanimozhi has got bail,” her father and DMK chief, M. Karunanidhi, said. He refused to speculate on the outcome of the case.
T.R. Baalu, another DMK leader present in the special court, said Kanimozhi will come out of the case “unscathed”.
The high court did not grant bail to former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura. It is due to hear his bail plea—the only one opposed by the CBI— on Tuesday.
Former telecom minister A. Raja, his former private secretary R.K. Chandolia, and promoter of Etisalat DB Teleservices, Shahid Balwa, are also yet to get bail. Balwa’s plea is due to be heard by Saini on Tuesday.
Referring to Kanimozhi, Raja told reporters on Friday that he was waiting for his “leader” to receive bail before applying for it himself.
Amritha Venketakrishnan in Chennai contributed to this story.