DMK MP Kanimozhi’s hopes of winning freedom from jail in the 2G spectrum allocation scam were dashed on Monday as the Supreme Court dismissed her bail plea along with that of co-accused Kalaignar TV managing Director Sharad Kumar.
Rejecting their pleas on Monday, a special bench of justices G S Singhvi and B S Chauhan, however, left a window of hope for them saying that they can approach the trial court for regular bail after the framing of charges against them in the scam.Monday’s stipulation by the apex court virtually puts a bar on grant of bail not only to her but also to the other high-profile accused, including former Telecom Minister A Raja and several senior corporate executives, till the framing of charges in the case, which may take a few months.
The apex court order came as a surprise for the lawyers and the family members of the two accused as they were hopeful of getting relief from the bench which appeared receptive to their pleas for bail during the 90-minute hearing.
The arguments were heard from 10.30 am to 12 noon and the court reserved the orders for 12.30 pm, which it delivered.
During the arguments, Kanimozhi pleaded to the court that she is a mother and she should not be denied the company of her child.
She said she was ready to accept and abide by any condition that might be imposed upon her by the court for grant of bail.
The arguments, however, did not eventually convince the court which dismissed her bail plea but gave liberty to her to approach the trial court under Section 437 of the CrPC after framing of charges in the case.
Kanimozhi, DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s 43-year-old daughter, has been in jail exactly for a month now bail before and her bail petition was rejected first by the special CBI court and then by the Delhi High Court.
The Rajya Sabha member and Kumar have been accused by the CBI of being involved in the illegal transaction of Rs 200 crore to Kalaignar TV.
Opposing the bail plea, the CBI contended that Kanimozhi and Kumar were key conspirators and Rs 200 crore transferred to Kalaignar TV was part of the “bribe” amount and not a loan as claimed by the accused.
It submitted the special CBI court and later the Delhi High Court had carefully evaluated material evidence and other factors to refuse bail to them.
The apex court had on 13th June agreed to hear their bail plea and asked CBI to explain where the Rs 200 crore, allegedly diverted to DMK-owned Kalaignar TV in 2G scam, has gone and also to file a response on their bail pleas in a week’s time.
The court had also asked CBI to come out with a status report on the loss to the state exchequer due to the award of 13 licences to one of the telecom operators and trial proceedings in the CBI special court.
Kanimozhi and Kumar had moved the apex court seeking bail on 10th June challenging the Delhi High Court verdict that rejected their bail on the ground that they have strong political connections and the possibility of them influencing witnesses cannot be ruled out.
Earlier two judges — P Sathasivam and A K Patnaik — before whom the matter was listed had recused themselves from the high-profile case.
Instead, Justice Singhvi, whose bench has been monitoring the case, held a special hearing along with Justice B S Chauhan to decide on the bail..