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Balwa's relieved dad will now head to Mecca

Shahid Balwa's father announced that he would go for a pilgrimage after the court granted his son bail in the 2G case

NEW DELHi: A special CBI court yesterday granted bail to Swan Telecom promoter and 2G case accused Shahid Balwa, citing the "principle of parity" a day after five co-accused were given bail by the Delhi High Court. The bail plea of RK Chandolia, ex-aide of former telecom minister A Raja, was kept pending for Wednesday.


Equal in the eyes of the law: Shahid Balwa was granted bail yesterday
on the grounds of parity, a day after the court granted bail to Kanimozhi.
file pic


Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge OP Saini said Balwa is being ordered released on bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh with two sureties for the like amount.

"Since as many as 10 co-accused have been admitted to bail by the Supreme Court as well as by the high court, and charges against the accused Vinod Goenka (who was given bail by the apex court) and accused Shahid Balwa are almost identical, following the principle of parity I am inclined to admit him bail," said Judge Saini.

"He is accordingly admitted to bail on his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs 5 lakh with two sureties in the like amount," the court said.

The CBI arrested the Mumbai-based realty promoter Feb 8 and he has been lodged in Tihar Jail since then.
"He shall remain present before this court on all dates fixed for hearing of the case," said the court, directing him to surrender his passport.

The court kept the bail application of Chandolia pending for today. The decision left his wife and two daughters, present in the courtroom, in tears.

In contrast, the grant of bail to Balwa saw his family members jump in joy and greet each other, with broad smiles on their faces. His father said that he will be leaving for the Haj pilgrimage on Saturday. "I will leave for Haj, whereas my sons Shahid and Asif Balwa (who got bail from the high court Monday) will go to Mumbai for four days," said Shahid's father.

The co-accused, who were given bail earlier, were also asked to surrender their passports to the trial court and not to leave the country without its permission and to attend the court everyday.

Earlier in the day, the CBI told the special judge that it would not oppose Balwa's bail plea keeping in view the the Supreme Court and high court orders on bail to other co-accused.

Now, only three of the 14 individuals arrested by CBI in the case remain in jail. These are Raja, Behura and Chandolia.

Ex-telecom secretary Siddharth Behura seeks bail
Former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, while seeking bail yesterday, told the court that he should be released on the ground of parity with the 11 co-accused who have already got bail. Behura, former telecom minister A Raja and his former private secretary RK Chandolia are the only three accused left behind bars in the case. "I also deserve to be released on the ground of principle of parity and parity alone," said Behura.

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