New Delhi: The Delhi high court (HC), acting on its own, took cognizance on Friday of the bail granted by a special court to the former private secretary of ex-telecom minister A. Raja in the second-generation (2G) spectrum case, and stayed its operation. The order came a day after the release on bail of R.K. Chandolia.
Justice V.K. Shali, in his three-page order, took the view that Chandolia’s release might have an “impact” on the decision in the bail plea of former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, which is pending before him.
A file photo of former telecom minister A. Raja’s ex-private secretary R. K. Chandolia.
Confusion arose from the fact that Chandolia was released from Tihar jail on Thursday evening. Justice Shali’s order said that “in case R.K. Chandolia has not been released on bail, there shall be a stay against the operation of the said order of bail purported to have been passed on 1 December, 2011, by the special judge, till the next date of hearing”.
It was not immediately clear if HC’s order is infructuous, given that Chandolia is already out on bail, or whether he would be taken back into judicial custody. Senior lawyers Mint spoke with were not sure what to make of the court’s order.
“I haven’t seen the order properly. I am surprised. I don’t want to comment further,” said Chandolia’s lawyer Vijay Agarwal.
Special judge O.P. Saini had granted bail to Chandolia in the case relating to irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum and licences on the grounds that his case “cannot be equated” with that of Raja and Behura.
The high court, exercising its power of superintendence, decided to examine the “legality”, “propriety” and “correctness” of the bail order and sought responses from the Central Bureau of Investigation and Chandolia on 7 December. Justice Shali said that “question arises as to whether the order of grant of bail was just, proper or arbitrary or unreasonable having regard to the facts of the case and allegations made qua him.”
Behura was not granted bail, although he applied to the high court alongside Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam member of Parliament K. Kanimozhi, film producer Karim Morani and three other accused in the 2G case who were released on bail. Raja is the only one of the 14 accused who has still not sought bail.
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