2G: Court rejects bail to Shahid Balwa and others

The Delhi HC on Tuesday rejected the bail pleas of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa, his counsin, Asif Balwa and Rajeev Aggarwal, accused in 2G spectrum allocation scam.

New Delhi: Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, an accused in 2G spectrum allocation scam, was on Tuesday refused bail by a Delhi court which said he has failed to "make out a case" for his release from jail in view of the apprehension that witnesses could be influenced.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini, exclusively dealing with the 2G case, also dismissed the bail pleas of Balwa`s cousin, Asif Balwa and Rajeev Aggarwal, accused of facilitating Rs 200 crore bribe to Kalaignar TV in which DMK MP Kanimozhi holds 20 percent share.

"Considering the magnitude of the crime, nature and enormity of the allegations, character of evidence on record and the apprehension that the witnesses may be influenced in case if the acused are released on bail, I have no hesitation in holding that acused have failed to make out a case for bail. Bail applications are without merits and the same are dismissed," the judge said.
The court also took into account CBI`s apprehensions that the accused, if released on bail at this stage, may influence the witnesses as many of them are employed in their companies.

"As such, when there is relationship of employer and employee between the accused and the witnesses or the accused is comparatively in an advantageous position, economically and financially vis-a-vis the witnesses, such an apprehension cannot be dismissed as unfounded," the judge noted.

Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal are directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd in which Shahid Balwa also holds a stake.

The court said the allegation against the three accused are "grave" and there are supporting evidence on record against them.

"I have extracted in detail the facts of the case, nature of allegations against the accused perosns, role played by them and the evidence on record.

"The same requires no detailed discussion and the facts are self-speaking. As such, there are grave allegations against all three accused and there is supporting evidence also on record," the court said.
While pressing for Shahid Balwa`s bail, advocate Majid Mammon had submitted before the court that his client had already been interrogated and if he is kept in custody, he may not be able to defend himself properly.

"The record of the case is voluminous and its disposal may take substantial time and the accused cannot be kept in custody indefinitely," Majid had argued.

He had contended that allegations against Shahid Balwa were false and he had to suffer loss. He added that the state exchequer suffered no loss and the grant of letter of intents (LoIs), UAS licences and spectrum were as per the policy of the government of India.

Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit had opposed his bail plea saying that the case is of grave nature and while seeking bail, the accused have to make out a case for bail.

Lalit had also referred to the facts as to how the cut-off date was changed, control of Swan Telecom was transferred and how the grant of LoIs, licences and spectrum were manipulated.

On the other hand, advocate Vijay Agarwal, appearing for Asif and Rajeev, had submitted that his clients have nothing to do with Swan Telecom and transaction of Rs 200 crore to Kalaignar TV was valid.

"The two accused (Asif and Rajeev) are being unfairly discriminated as some of the persons, who were in the same position as the two accused are, have been cited as witnesses," he said adding the transaction was valid and carried through banking channels.
He said Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd wanted to buy stakes in Kalaignar TV but when the shares were found too expensive, the money was returned with interest.

Pressing for the bail, Agarwal contended, "at best the accused can be considered as conduit only and as such, their role is different from other accused persons."

Lalit, however, submitted that transfer of Rs 200 crore to Kalaignar TV from DB Realty was quid pro quo for grant of LoI, UAS licences and spectrum to Swan Telecom by Raja.

"Both accused (Asif and Rajeev) were fully knowing the nature of money being transferred," he said adding "there is no contemporaneous documents for that."
The court, while dismissing the bail pleas, also took into account the evidence on records in which various prosecution witnesses have stated in detail about the transction of Rs 200 crores to Kalaignar TV.

"The facts of the case and allegations against the accused are of exceptional nature and the same requires no further elaboration," the court said.

The court rejected the plea of Shahid Balwa, Asif and Rajeev that they had ventured into a bonafide business transaction.

"Allegations and evidence on record are to the contrary and at this stage, it is not proper to consider the merit of the ase in detail", the court said.


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