Former communications minister A Raja, who has been in jail since February last year, was Tuesday granted bail in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
Raja, the last of the 14 individuals charged in the case still in prison, was given bail by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special judge O P Saini.
The announcement that Raja, who has been behind bars in the capital's Tihar Jail, triggered wild slogan shouting and cheering by his DMK supporters, mainly from Tamil Nadu, who raised slogans in Tamil like: "Raja, vazhga!" (long live Raja!)
The DMK also expressed confidence that he would come out clean. Besides the 14 individuals, three companies were also charged in the case related to 2G spectrum licences allocated during his tenure as communications minister.
"We are happy. Getting bail is part of the legal process. We are confident that Raja will come out clean in the whole episode," DMK spokesperson T K S Elangovan said.
Giving details of what had transpired, Raja's counsel told reporters that the judge called Raja towards him and told him: "Your bail application is allowed."
"Raja had not moved bail until all other 13 were granted bail," he added. "Now all the accused are on bail. The case will go on."
Sigh of relief: A Raja (File photo)
The counsel pointed out that Raja had got bail despite the CBI's opposition.
The CBI had opposed Raja's bail application, saying he faced charges of accepting bribes of Rs 200 crore, which makes his case different from former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, who was granted bail by the Supreme Court last week.
Raja, in his bail application, has requested the court to release him on grounds of parity.
The agency said that important prosecution witnesses of department of telecommunications and other private people, especially connected to alleged bribe transaction of Rs 200 crore from DB Group companies to Kalaignar TV, are yet to be examined.
It told the court that if the accused was released on bail at this crucial stage of trial, then he may influence the vital witness as some of them belong to Tamil Nadu.
The Supreme Court in February cancelled 122 spectrum licences allocated during Raja's tenure. It also ruled that all natural resources should be allocated through an auction, which the government is now preparing to do in the case of the cancelled licences.