2 SC judges recuse from hearing Kani`s bail plea

Last Updated: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 00:24

New Delhi: Two judges of the Supreme Court,
who were scheduled to hear on Monday the bail plea of DMK MP
Kanimozhi, an accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam,
on Friday recused themselves from the hearing.

Instead, Justice GS Singhvi, whose bench has been
monitoring the case, will hold a special hearing on Monday
along with Justice BS Chauhan to decide the bail applications
of Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar.

According to informed sources, Justices P Sathasivam
and AK Patnaik conveyed their decision to recuse to Chief
Justice of India S H Kapadia, following which he constituted
another bench with Justice Singhvi.

Earlier in the day, CBI filed an affidavit in the apex
court opposing the bail pleas of Kanimozhi and co-accused
Sharad Kumar on the ground that if released, they could tamper
with evidence and influence witnesses.

The investigating agency contended Kanimozhi and Kumar
were key conspirators and Rs 200 crore transferred to
Kalaignar TV was part of the "bribe" amount and not a loan
as claimed by the accused.

The agency said since investigation into the 2G case is
at an advanced stage, it will not be proper for the apex court
to grant bail to the accused.

CBI submitted the special CBI court and later the Delhi
High Court had carefully evaluated various material evidence
and other factors to refuse bail to them.

The apex court had on June 13 asked CBI to explain where
the Rs 200 crore, allegedly diverted to DMK-owned Kalaignar TV
in 2G scam, has gone and also to file a response on their bail
pleas in a week`s time.

A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar
had also asked CBI to come out with a status report on the
loss to the state exchequer due to the award of 13 licences to
one of the telecom operators and trial proceedings in the CBI
special court.

Kanimozhi and Kumar had moved the apex court seeking bail
on June 10 challenging the Delhi High Court verdict rejecting
their bail on the ground that they have strong political
connections and the possibility of them influencing witnesses
cannot be ruled out.

Named as accused in the second charge sheet for allegedly
taking a bribe of Rs 200 crore, the two were arrested on May
20 after the special court dismissed their bail pleas in the
case.

Both Kanimozhi and Kumar have 20 per cent stake each
in Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd which allegedly received Rs 200 crore
through a "circuitous" route from Shahid Balwa promoted DB
Realty.

DMK chief`s wife Dayalu Ammal, who has been left out
of the list of accused, owns the remaining 60 per cent shares
in the channel.

Kanimozhi and Kumar had moved the High Court on May 23
challenging the trial court`s order which had rejected their
bail pleas, saying the offence attributed to them was grave
and the possibility of influencing the witnesses cannot be
ruled out.

CBI Special Judge O P Saini had on May 20 rejected the
bail pleas of Kanimozhi and Kumar and ordered their
"forthwith" arrest. They are currently lodged in Tihar Jail.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 00:24

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