2G case: Bail plea of corporate honchos to be decided on Apr 20

Last Updated: Friday, April 15, 2011 - 22:26

New Delhi: A court here on Friday reserved till
April 20 its order on the bail plea of five corporate honchos,
accused in the 2G spectrum scam, after CBI argued that they be
sent to jail as the fear of witnesses being won over or
influenced is there.
"The severity of the offence cannot be determined by the
length of the prescribed punishment. The financial health of
the country has been completely bartered in this case and the
accused should be remanded to judicial custody for smooth
trial," special public prosecutor U U Lalit said.



CBI Judge O P Saini, after hearing the arguments for
three hours, reserved pronouncement of the order on April 20
and ordered "status quo" vis-a-vis the personal liberty of the
accused who have not been arrested during the probe.



"Considering the matter on record, complicity of the
present accused in the crime is clearly made out. The act
complained of and offences alleged are serious, having made
deep inroads in public interest and financial affairs of the
state."
"The accused are holding high positions and now that the
names of witnesses are disclosed, some of whom are directly
working under/or amenable to their directions, the possibility
of winning over and/ or influencing the witnesses is clearly
there," CBI, in its reply, alleged.



The agency feared the accused "will abscond" in order to
avoid smooth running of the trial, Lalit said.



Opposing CBI`s plea, senior advocates K T S Tulsi, Mukul
Rohatgi and Ranjit Kumar, arguing for corporate leaders, said
sending the accused, whose arrest was not required during
the probe, to jail now would amount to "travesty of justice"
and was an "astounding proposition" of law.



Lalit, the SC-appointed prosecutor, in his response,
cited the ruling of the apex court on cancellation of bail
granted to Ramalingam Raju in the Satyam fraud case.



"The length of punishment is not the only criteria to
gauge the severity of the offence. Here is a case of enormous
and wider ramifications affecting the economic health of the
country," Lalit said.



The prosecutor, however, made a concession to the bail
plea of ailing accused Surendra Pipara, Group President of
Reliance ADA Group, saying "it is up to the court to take a
view."



Top corporate leaders Swan Telecom Director Vinod Goenka,
Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd Managing Director Sanjay
Chandra, and three top officials of Reliance ADA Group Gautam
Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair were present during the
hearing.



PTI



First Published: Friday, April 15, 2011 - 22:26

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