New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday took
exception to Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid`s reported
statement that putting businessmen behind bars will hamper
investments in the country, saying if true it is "disturbing".
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and H L Dattu asked
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Haren Rawal to clarify the
minister`s statement, while hearing the bail pleas of 2G case
accused - Unitech Managing Director Sanjay Chandra and Swan
Telecom`s Director Vinod Goenka.
"It appears as if we are interested in keeping these
businessmen behind bars. Is this news report/statement and
what has been reported in newspapers totally correct ? It
was in the headline of a leading newspaper. If it is correct,
it is disturbing for us," the bench told Rawal, who was
opposing the bail pleas.
Appearing for Goenka, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi told
the bench that the statement was published in a leading
newspaper and it is correct.
The bench wanted to know from Rawal whether he was
supporting the stand taken by the minister as reported in the
The bench also expressed surprise over reports that the
CBI will not oppose the bail pleas of DMK`s Kanimozhi and
certain other accused in the scam case.
However, the ASG said it was not correct and he has the
instruction to oppose the bail pleas of the accused persons.
During the hearing, the bench said that there are public
relation officers in the CBI and was it not appropriate for
them to contradict any misleading news item.
The bench said that the issue before it was a serious
matter on which the hearing has been going on for over a
"We want to know is there a change in your stand after
reading the newspaper report. We thought that Rawal will come
out with a change in stand and we are surprised," the bench
However, the bench said it is very clear even if it is
the stand of the government, these things will not affect the
proceedings of the court.
"If you have such instructions, tell us. It will not
affect us." However, the ASG said, "I have instructions to
oppose the bail."