Bail for Kanimozhi, four others

Published: Nov 29, 2011, 06:54 IST | Amit Singh |

Even though they were granted bail yesterday, they will leave Tihar Jail today as procedural delays did not allow them to be released immediately

Even though they were granted bail yesterday, they will leave Tihar Jail today as procedural delays did not allow them to be released immediately

After spending over six months in Tihar jail, DMK MP Kanimozhi, along with four others in the 2G spectrum case, was granted bail by Delhi High Court on Monday. The bail was granted, treating them at par with the five corporate honchos given bail by Supreme Court last week. However, due to procedural delay, they will be able to get out from Tihar only on Tuesday.

While passing the order, Justice VK Shali said, "I grant bail to five persons. The conditions would be the same as imposed by Supreme Court." Kanimozhi's counsel R Shunmugasundaram would be furnishing the bail bonds before the trial court on Tuesday morning to get the release order.

Others who were granted bail are Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Bollywood filmmaker Karim Morani and Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd directors Rajiv Aggarwal and Asif Balwa. Allowing bail to Kanimozhi and the others, Justice Shali said, "Most of the evidence against the petitioners is documentary evidence, and there is no prima facie evidence or likelihood which may persuade the court to doubt that the petitioners have reason to believe that they may create conditions which may not be conducive to holding a free and fair trial."

No joy for some
The court, however, reserved its order on the bail plea of Siddhartha Behura, former telecom secretary. Justice Shali said, "The court will pronounce its judgement later as his plea has been opposed by the CBI."

"You file your written submissions to the contentions of the CBI," Justice Shali told Behura's counsel, senior advocate Aman Lekhi. This was the fifth attempt by Kanimozhi to get bail. CBI did not oppose the bail pleas of Kanimozhi and the four others released, saying they were private persons. Earlier, during the day, additional solicitor general Mohan Parasaran said they can be released on the ground of parity as the Supreme Court has already given the same benefit to five other co-accused in the case.

The delay in release was caused as the certified copy of the high court's order could not be furnished within the working hours of the trial court. Special judge OP Saini waited in his chamber till 5.15 pm on the request of lawyers appearing for the accused but the order was not placed before him in time.

The court expressed its displeasure because the special court had not granted bail to Kanimozhi on additional grounds of being a woman. "So far as Kanimozhi is concerned, she is entitled to invocation of additional grounds of being a woman." The order said a woman or infirm or a child less than 16 years of age is entitled to bail.

The five were asked to furnish a personal bond of Rs.5 lakh each with two sureties. It directed them to surrender their passports and said they must appear whenever they were called to the court. Earlier, Supreme Court had granted bail to five corporate honchos on the condition that they would surrender their passports and will not go abroad without the court's permission.

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