In the first bail in 2G case, the Supreme Court ordered the release of five top corporate executives from Tihar Jail, raising hopes of other accused in the case including former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi who have been in prison for over six months.
A bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and H L Dattu directed the release of the five corporate honchos — Unitech Limited MD Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom Director Vinod Goenka and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group executives Hari Nair, Gautam Doshi and Surrendra Pipara.
They were asked to furnish two sureties of Rs 5 lakh each to the satisfactiion of the special judge holding the trial of the case as bail condition.
The operative part of the judgement was read out by Justice Dattu. The accused had moved the apex court challenging Delhi High Court and trial court orders turning down their bail pleas.
CBI had opposed their release on bail saying they could approach the trial court for relief.
The accused, who have been charged with various offences under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, had contended they should be granted bail as charges have already been framed in the case and there is no chance of them tampering with evidence.
The bail plea of Kanimozhi and four others is due to come up for hearing before the Delhi High Court on December one.
This is the first time that any of the accused in the 2G scam has been granted bail. Other accused in the case include Raja’s Private Secretary R K Chandolia, who is a suspended IRS officer, and former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura.
Others arrested in the case include Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, his cousin Asif Balwa and their colleague Rajeev Agarwal, besides DMK-run Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar and Mumbai filmmaker Karim Morani.
Three telecom firms Reliance Telecom Ltd, Swan Telecom and Unitech (Tamil Nadu) Wireless Ltd too have been listed as accused in the CBI chargesheet in the case.
The CBI had chargesheeted 14 persons in the scam, with Raja being the first to be arrested on February 2, along with his former Private Secretary Chandolia and former Telecom Secretary Behura.
The five executives, who were granted bail, were arrested on April 20.
Besides Kanimozhi, the four others who have moved the High Court against the special court’s order on bail are Kalaignar TV MD Kumar, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd. Directors Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal and film producer Morani.