Five senior corporate executives who were co-accused in the second generation (2G) telecom spectrum case were sent to 14 days of judicial custody Wednesday after Special Judge O.P Saini denied them bail and interim relief, IANS reported.
Those whose bail pleas were dismissed are: Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom, Sanjay Chandra of Unitech and three officials of Reliance Anil Dhirubhani Ambani Group -Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has named them co-accused, along with former telecom minister A. Raja, his personal aide R.K. Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa. These four are already in judicial custody. The former minister was arrested in the national capital on Feb 2, along with Behura and Chandolia. A. Raja and eight others were also presented in a city court in New Delhi on Wednesday in connection with the alleged scam.
The judge said, “There are serious allegation against the applicants. There is incriminating evidence on record. The CBI has expressed apprehension that the accused may tamper with evidence by trying to win over witnesses and they may flee from justice”.
“These apprehension cannot be dismissed as too farfetched at this stage, in the light of serious nature of the case”.
As soon as bail was declined, all the five moved pleas for some interim relief before the court, saying 7-15 days may be given to them so that they can approach a higher court, as they were not arrested during investigations.
“I am not inclined to pass any order regarding status quo or grant of interim bail at this stage as prayed,” the judge said. “All the five should be taken into custody and sent to Tihar Jail. They need to appear before the court throughout the trial.”
Supreme Court appointed prosecutor U.U. Lalit who appeared for the premier investigative agency opposed the bail pleas. Former additional solicitor general Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Goenka, K.T.S. Tulsi for Chandra, Seema Gulati for Nair, Ranjit Kumar for Doshi, and Hariharan for Pipara.
In the formal charges running into some 80,000 pages including annexures filed with the special CBI court, also named as co-accused were three firms — Unitech, Swan Telecom and Reliance Telecom.
Among these corporates, Unitech was represented by S.S. Gandhi, Swan by Amit Desai and Sidharth Patnaik, and Reliance Telecom by Manali Singh with authorised representative Nitin Aggarwal.
All the counsel for the accused argued that since their clients were not arrested for past two years, charges had already been officially filed and they had also cooperated with the CBI, they were entitled to bail.
Raja, his aide and officials from the Department of Telecom (DoT) face charges for their roles in the award of scarce radio frequency. The former minister also faces charges of forgery, while Chandolia and Behura have been accused of misusing official position.