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SC defers Kanimozhi bail plea to June 20
New Delhi, June 13 (IANS):
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Published on 13 Jun. 2011 10:12 PM IST
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The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the CBI on the bail pleas of DMK MP Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar, asking it to reply by June 20 on what had happened to the Rs.200 crore allegedly paid as a bribe to them in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
An apex court bench of Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to inform the court what happened to the Rs.200 crore which it has alleged was paid to Kalaignar TV as bribe. “There was a bribe or a kickback of Rs.200 crore,” asked the court.
“Either way it was not a legal transaction,” the court said.
Putting off the matter till June 20, the court asked the CBI to address three questions - “what is the status of the case property (Rs.200 crore), what is the loss caused to the government in the issuance of 13 united access services licences to telecom operators and what is the status of the case before the trial court”.
The apex court told the CBI that it could not keep the petitioners (Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar) in jail for two to three months. “You can’t keep them in jail for two to three months. If you want to investigate then you can call them for interrogation,” the court said.
The court’s observation came after the CBI sought two weeks’ time to file its reply to the petition filed by Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar.
Taking CBI to task, the court said that the probe agency should have been ready with the answers.
Appearing for Sharad Kumar, senior counsel Altaf Ahmed told the court what was being described as a bribe was, in fact, a loan which had been paid back. “It is a bank transaction. We have repaid the loan to Cineyug Films.”
As Ahmed argued that the continued incarceration of his client was the violation of his human rights, Justice Chauhan said: “This is corruption and corruption is the worst form of human rights violation.”
The court was told that after the filing of the second CBI charge sheet April 25, documents relating to the case were being scrutinised.
The court was also informed that at present the trial court was in recess and would reopen July 4.
Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar each have a 20 percent stake in Kalaignar TV, which allegedly received Rs.200 crore through a “circuitous” route from Shahid Usman Balwa, the promotor of Swan Telecom,which is one of the companies that received 2G spectrum when the DMK’s A. Raja was the telecom minister in 2008.
Raja, who quit after the government auditor Comptroller and Auditor General of India said Raja’s decision to allocate the licences on a first-come-first-served basis rather than through an auction caused a notional loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore, as also Balwa are among the 14 people jailed in the case.
Kanimozhi, the 43-year-old daughter of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi and the party’s Rajya Sabha member, and Sharat Kumar approached the apex court after the Delhi High Court dismissed their bail applications June 8.
The two, named as co-conspirator in the supplementary charge sheet for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs.200 crore, were arrested May 20 after the trial court dismissed their bail pleas in the case.

 
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