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2G scam: HC rejects ex-telecom secy`s bail plea

The CBI had alleged that the senior bureaucrat had doctored the list of telecom licence applicants to extend undue benefits to Swan Telecom.



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed the bail plea of former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, arrested for his alleged role in the 2G spectrum scam.

"The bail application is dismissed," Justice Ajit Bharihoke said.

"Prima facie involvement of petitioner (Behura) in the conspiracy to cause undue advantage to Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd is apparent," the court said.

"This gives a glimpse of the quantum of monetary gain caused to Swan Telecom by the petitioner in conspiracy with other public servants," the court said while detailing the entire transaction involving allocation of spectrum licence.

"In view of the above, looking into the huge monetary gain caused to Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd and the gravity of the offence, I do not deem it a fit case for admitting the petitioner on bail, particularly when the trial is yet to commence," the judge said.

The high court had reserved its order on July 21, after hearing detailed arguments from both the sides, the CBI and the defence, on Behura`s bail plea.

A Delhi court had rejected Behura`s bail plea on June 4, on the grounds of "enormity" of allegations and fears that he might influence witnesses.

Challenging the order of the trial court, Behura had moved the Delhi High court seeking bail.
He had submitted before the court that he was being falsely implicated by the probe agency though he had no role in allotment of spectrum.

Opposing Behura`s bail plea, the CBI had alleged that the senior bureaucrat had doctored the list of telecom licence applicants to extend undue benefits to Swan Telecom.

Special Public Prosecutor UU Lalit, appearing for CBI, had argued, "Behura played an active role in giving licences to Swan Telecom, promoted by Shahid Usman Balwa, despite objections."

The CBI, in its first chargesheet filed on April 2, had named Behura along with others. Charges of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and corruption have been levelled against former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi, Behura and others in the case.

At present, all the 14 accused persons are lodged in Tihar Jail.

PTI

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