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2G: Bail pleas of corporate honchos rejected

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday rejected the bail pleas of five senior corporate executives accused in the second-generation (2G) spectrum case.

Justice Ajit Bharihoke denied bail to Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom, Sanjay Chandra of Unitech and three officials of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group — Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara.

All five corporate accused are in jail since April 20 when the special court ordered their arrest after dismissing their bail plea.

Justice Ajit Bharihoke, after hearing extensive arguments, reserved its orders on May 9 on the bail plea of the five accused who had challenged the order of the special court designated to deal exclusively with the 2G case.

During the arguments, former Attorney General Soli J Sorabji, appearing for Doshi, said the roles of Reliance officials’ were minimal and limited to “structuring” an alleged front company, Swan Telecom.

“Bail is the rule and jail is exception. The mere apprehension (of CBI) is not good enough as the ground to trample personal liberty of the accused,” Sorabji had said.

Besides Sorabji, senior defence lawyers Mukul Rohatgi, Ram Jethmalani, K T S Tulsi, Ranjit Kumar, Rajeev Nayar, N K Kaul had assailed the dismissal of the bail plea of the accused by the special CBI judge saying “he gravely erred in terming the case as of the highest magnitude as it is the punishment and not the amount involved that decides the same.”

Jethmalani, who appeared for Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd Managing Director Sanjay Chandra, said his client did not make the “kill” but was “killed”.

Chandra did not offloaded the company’s shares and did not earn profits but has been wrongly booked in the case, he contended.

The corporate leaders, who were not arrested by CBI during the investigation, were named in the first charge sheet and had appeared before the lower court on April 13.

U U Lalit, the Supreme Court-appointed CBI prosecutor, opposed the bail plea saying the corporate bodies and individuals were direct beneficiaries of the spectrum deal and they were involved in a conspiracy along with former Telecom minister A Raja to obtain benefits.

Raja advanced the cut-off date for submitting applications for spectrum allocation and also altered the policy to favour Swan Telecom and Unitech Ltd, Lalit said.

Besides the five corporate leaders, CBI has named nine persons including Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi and three companies as accused in the case.

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