Five get bail in 2G case as Tihar trial plea is rejected
New Delhi: The Supreme Court yesterday granted bail to five executives accused in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation case, seven months after their custody, even as a stay was granted on moving the trial to Tihar jail.
The five co-accused granted bail are Sanjay Chandra of Unitech Wireless, Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom, and Reliance Group's Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair. They are among the 14 co-accused in the case, who include former telecom minister A. Raja.
A bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice H.L. Dattu ordered the release of the five co-accused, in custody since April, on a surety of Rs500,000 (Dh35,000) each but also allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to seek a review if the bail was misused.
"We reserve the liberty to the CBI to make appropriate application for the modification, recalling the order passed by us, if for any reason the applicants violate any of the conditions imposed by this court," the judgment said.
"There will be no inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts or the case so as to dissuade him to disclose such facts to the court or to any other authority," said the court, asking the accused to be present in court when required.
The trial is being conducted by a special CBI court presided over by Judge O.P. Saini. The proceedings will continue in Patiala House courtroom till a panel appointed by the Delhi High Court identifies an alternative location.
A five-judge bench of the high court headed by Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri stayed Tuesday's notification of the registrar general to move the case to Tihar jail after the accused said it was illegal and will inconvenience them as well as their lawyers.
Now, a committee comprising the registrar general, special judge Saini, a district judge of the Patiala House court and a few lawyers representing the accused will identify the place where the trial can be held.
There was a celebratory mood among the relatives of the five accused, in the Patiala House court. Judge Saini asked them to vacate the courtroom and not interfere with the proceedings.
In a related development, out of the nine accused still in judicial custody, six of them, led by Raja's party colleague and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi, moved the Delhi High Court for an early hearing of their bail pleas, slated for December 1.
The five executives who have been granted bail had challenged the judgment and common order of the Delhi High Court delivered May 23.