2G case: SC grants bail to 5 corporate executives

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to five corporate executives facing prosecution for their alleged involvement in the 2G case. The five are Sanjay Chandra of Unitech Wireless, Vinod Goenka of DB Realty as well as Reliance Group’s Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nayar.The verdict was delivered by Justice H L Dattu who had heard their arguments along with CBI submission opposing the bail plea.

They have moved the apex court challenging Delhi High Court and trial court orders turning dowm their bail pleas.

CBI had opposed their bail plea saying they can approach the trial court for the relief.

The accused, who have been charged under various offences under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, contended they should be granted bail as the charges have already been framed and there is no chance of them tampering with the evidence.

Other accused in the case include former Telecom Minister A Raja, former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura and Raja’s former private secretary R K Chandolia.

Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, his cousin Asif Balwa and their colleague Rajeev Agarwal have also been booked in the case.

The accused included three telecom firms Reliance Telecom Ltd, Swan Telecom and Unitech (Tamil Nadu) Wireless Ltd.

All the accused have pleaded that they have not done anything wrong and refuted the charge of drawing illegal benefits in allocation of 2G spectrum.

The five corporate executives had moved the SC challenging the order of the Delhi high court denying them bail in the case.

The CBI, however, had opposed their bail pleas. “In corruption cases, right to liberty of the accused has to be seen in the light of larger public interest,” CBI’s counsel and Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval had told the SC. The prosecution agency in its affidavit had said that the accused were likely to tamper with the evidence and influence witnesses in the 2G scam if they were given bail in the case.

“There is every likelihood that the petitioners may tamper with evidence and influence vital witnesses which will eventually hamper the proper and effective trial in this case to reach a logical conclusion,” it had said.

Earlier, a Delhi court moved the trial of the 2G spectrum allocation scam from the Patiala House court complex in the heart of the city to a courtroom in Tihar Jail, where the accused in the case have been lodged.

The change of location, which will kick in from Thursday, is likely to restrict the movement of the accused, and curb the easy access they had enjoyed with their family members and lawyers all this while.

The lawyers, representing the accused, may approach the Delhi High Court to challenge the move.

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