New Delhi: The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court at Patiala House will on Monday hear the bail pleas of DMK’s Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and six others - Sharad Kumar, MD, Kalaignar TV; R K Chandolia, former Personal Secretary to A Raja; Rajiv Aggarwal and Asif Balwa, Directors, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables; Shahid Balwa, Promoter, D B Realty and Swan Telecom; and Karim Morani, Promoter, Cineyug Films - in the 2G scam.
Earlier on Saturday, the CBI court headed by Judge OP Saini accepted all the charges leveled against the 14 individuals and three companies - Reliance Telecom, Unitech Wireless and Swan Telecom - listed as principal players in the 2G scam by the central probe agencies.
After the framing of charges against them, former Telecom Minister A Raja, Kanimozhi and the executives of some of India's biggest telecoms will face trial for criminal breach of trust - a charge that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
As per the CBI chargesheet, all accused have been charged for criminal conspiracy, forgery and cheating. However, the most serious charges in the case, controversially introduced by the CBI just a few weeks ago, are criminal breach of trust by a public servant for Raja and Siddharth Behura, who was Telecom Secretary, and criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant for the 12 others. The maximum sentence for these charges is life imprisonment.
Because the charges have been framed now, the 14 people accused have a better shot at leaving jail. All of them except Raja have already applied for bail.
Media report suggest that CBI, which has opposed two previous petitions by Kanimozhi for bail in the past few months, may not oppose her latest request.
The agency, however, maintains that Kanimozhi is the active brain behind Kalaignar TV and Rs. 200 cr was paid by Swan Telecom to Kalaignar TV through several subsidiaries as illegal gratification in return for 2G licenses and spectrum.
Though the framing of charges has cleared the decks for the hearing of bail pleas, any decision before Diwali can be ruled out for most of them.
Kanimozhi has been lodged in jail for almost six months and has been denied bail.
First Published: Monday, October 24, 2011, 09:11