Bail plea of Balwa, Raja''s PS in 2G spectrum case dismissed

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) A Delhi court today dismissedthe bail plea of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa andpersonal secretary of former Telecom Minister A Raja in the 2Gspectrum allocation scam, saying they are "high ranking publicservants" and "influential" who may tamper with the probe.

"Considering the facts and the circumstances of the case,arbitrary acts done by the accused, quantum of loss to thestate exchequer, role of accused R K Chandolia in arrangingthe counters in a particular manner and the fact that thecompany of Balwa was initially ineligible and was subsequentlyshown to be eligible by forging the documents, I am notinclined to enlarge them to bail," Special CBI Judge O P Sainisaid.

In not granting the relief, the judge also took intoaccount the "initial stage of the investigation and otherfacts and circumstances of the case".

Dismissing their bail applications, the court consideredthe fact that Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, promoted by Balwa, wasineligible for 2G licenses as the holding firm of the companywas indirectly funded by Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG).

"M/s Reliance Telecom Limited of ADAG group of companieshad already been granted license in some circles and, as such,M/s Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, its associate company, was noteligible for license," the CBI Judge said.

The court said Swam Telecom should not have applied forlicenses in the first place as it was incorporated by M/sReliance group of companies and thus was ineligible.

The court also considered the alleged fabrication ofrecords relating to various companies with an objective tomake Swam Telecom eligible for the license.

The judge noted that Rs 200 crores were transferred bygroup companies of DB group, in which Balwa was the ManagingDirector, to Kalaignar TV, belonging to Sharad Kumar andothers who are closely associated with Raja, after theallotment of Unified Access Service (UAS) licences.

"It is CBI''s allegation that these Rs 200 crores weretransferred as a consideration for helping the company inobtaining UAS licenses to the Kalaignar TV, in whichassociates of Raja are also shareholders," the court noted.


Earlier, senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for Balwa, said grant of license to his company was "in accordancewith the recommendations of TRAI and Telecom Commission" andhe had no role to play in the change of cut-off date forreceipt of applications.

Counsel for Chandolia said he was only a privatesecretary to the former Telecom Minister and as a part ofduty, he used to put up files before Raja.

The court allowed the submissions of CBI which said theaccused were influential and could tamper with the probe.

"There is no doubt that R K Chandolia is a high-rankingpublic servant and accused Balwa is also an influentialbusinessman.

"Accordingly, I find a merit in the submission of SpecialPublic Prosecutor for CBI that if these accused are releasedon bail, they may tamper with evidence or witnesses may notcome forward to give statements, more so when no one cameforward to complain against their illegal acts," the courtsaid.

Chandolia was arrested along with Raja by CBI on February2 while Balwa was taken into custody on February 8.

The probe agency had lodged an FIR on October 21, 2009against some unnamed persons in the case, and arrested Rajaand others under various provisions of the IPC dealing withcriminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery and the Preventionof Corruption Act.

Though the agency has pegged the loss due to spectrumallocation at Rs 22,000 crore based on the calculations madeby the CVC, the CAG had in its report projected a presumptiveloss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

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