2G: Court says Shahid Balwa deserves to be taken in custody

Delhi court said Balwa "deserved" to be taken into custody for his misconduct which caused "embarrassment" (to the judge) during the trial.

PTI| Last Updated: May 10, 2014, 18:36 PM IST

New Delhi: Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case, on Saturday faced the ire of a Delhi court which said he "deserved" to be taken into custody for his misconduct which caused "embarrassment" (to the judge) during the trial.

"Let me pour my heart out. During the recording of evidence, many times I felt that Mr Balwa should be taken into custody. He deserved to be taken into custody," Special CBI Judge O P Saini said.

"I have told everybody that I have no faith in you (Balwa). The court has been virtually cheated," an angry special judge said, adding "my patience with you is over now."

Saini said Balwa has "embarrassed" him a lot due to his conduct and if he has not understood the question, then why he has given answers to around 500 questions which were asked by the court during recording of his statement.

"It is an exercise to trap the court," the judge said, adding "be ready to go to jail."

"He is such a big businessman and he is saying he is not understanding the questions," the judge said.

The observations were made by the judge after special public prosecutor U U Lait told the court that Balwa's contention that he did not understand the questions asked by the court under the provisions of the CrPC was only to take advantage in future.

"I see a sinister design behind it so that they can take advantage in future," Lalit said and pointed out around 130 answers were given by Balwa on the court's query.

Lalit told the court that once the accused as well as the judge has signed on the answers, there was no provision in law to undo it as it was a part of judicial record.

However, Balwa repeatedly apologized to the judge saying he had not done anything intentionally and it was done only due to inadvertence.

Balwa's counsel Vijay Aggarwal told the court it was an error on their part that they did not point out to the court that they have not understood the questions.

The judge, however, said he will decide the issue on May 12.

During the hearing, Lalit told the court that answers given by the accused are part of the judicial record and one cannot go back on it.

"This cannot happen and it should not be allowed to happen. It is breach of faith," Lalit said, adding, he is objecting to the "business" of giving answers in pendrive by the accused.

"If he had not understood the questions, then it was his duty to inform the court that I have not understood the questions," he said.

The court is recording the statements of two Reliance ADAG executives -- Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair--who are facing trial in the case.

The judge had earlier also pulled up Balwa saying certain answers given by him in response to the court's querries were "objectionable" and had said there were some errors in his statement and it had escaped the court's attention as they were "quite longish".

The court had also observed that some doubt has cropped up regarding the questions being supplied to the accused for recording of their statements under provisions of the CrPC.

During the day, the court is recording statements of the accused in the case.

The stage for the recording of evidence of former Telecom Minister A Raja and 16 other accused, including Kanimozhi, was set earlier when the court had supplied a draft questionnaire containing 1,718 questions running into 824 pages to the accused.

Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja's erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, Reliance ADAG executives--Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair--are facing trial in the case.

Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also accused in the case.

Besides these 14 accused, three telecom firms Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd are also facing trial in the case.