New Delhi: Shahid Usman Balwa, an accused in
the 2G spectrum allocation case and his lawyers on Tuesday created
a flutter in a Delhi court when they registered strong
objections to the judge`s interventions during cross
examination of witness saying the atmosphere created was
"supporting the prosecution case".
The lawyers said the court was giving more importance to
the witnesses and was "humiliating" them.
Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa and his counsel
made the statements when Special CBI Judge O P Saini asked how
much more time they require to cross examine Nripendra Mishra,
former Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
Balwa at this point sought permission to speak and said
"as an accused I have a right to defend myself. If you don`t
allow us to defend ourself, you please pass the sentence
against us. I am ready to face the sentence."
All the defence lawyers and accused present in the
court room moved towards the Judge`s bench and said "we
(lawyers) have decided to raise this issue."
"Unfortunately, the atmosphere created is such as if your
honour is supporting the prosecution case," advocate R N
Mittal, appearing for Balwa and other accused in the case,
Mittal said giving specific time to lawyers to cross
examine the witness and regular interruptions (on the part of
judge) were "not correct" and said "this was not the way to
conduct the trial".
The judge, however, said he had only asked how much time
they would take for cross examination and has not restrained
them from taking more time.
"I only asked how much time you will take", the judge