Thursday, June 13, 2024

Diwali in jail for Kani, BSY; Amar goes home


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NEW DELHI/BANGALORE: Home at Diwali for one, behind bars for the others. Of the nine people, in jail for alleged involvement in corruption, only former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh got bail Monday while DMK MP Kanimozhi and six others arrested in the 2G scam as well as former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa resigned themselves to a dark festival of lights.

The cases of the high profile personalities arrested in various cases of graft – Amar Singh for the 2008 cash-for-votes scandal in parliament, Kanimozhi and six others for the 2G spectrum allotment scam and Yeddyurappa for land deals – came up Monday.

While the Delhi High Court gave an ailing Amar Singh a reprieve, a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court took up the case of the seven 2G accused and decided to reserve bail orders till Nov 3. The Karnataka High Court put off Yeddyurappa’s plea till Oct 28.

Diwali is on Wednesday.

The CBI told Special Court Judge O.P. Saini that it had no objection to bail being given to Kanimozhi, directors of Kusegaon Asif Balwa and Rajeev B. Agarwal, Cineyug Film’s Karim Morani and Kalaignar TV’s managing director Sharad Kumar.

However, the investigating agency opposed bail for Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa and R.K. Chandolia, who was the secretary of former telecom minister A. Raja, who has also been jailed in the case.

Kanimozhi, 43, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s daughter, who has been in jail since May 20, was charged along with other 16 accused, including Raja, with criminal breach of trust amongst other things.

It could become a political hot potato with Karunanidhi, a key ally of the ruling Congress, last week meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. The DMK was hopeful that she would be out on bail.

“Kanimozhi should have got bail earlier… there is lot of politics behind the scene,” DMK spokesperson T.K.S. Elangovan told IANS.

The case, entrusted to the CBI and involving award of scarce airwaves to new telecom players in 2007-08, is known commonly as the 2G (second generation spectrum allocation) case.

Amar Singh’s future was being decided at the same time as the CBI court was pronouncing its ruling.

Observing that his health condition was “very critical”, the Delhi High Court granted bail to the Rajya Sabha MP.

“Keeping the medical reports of the petitioner (Amar Singh) into view, it seems to me that the health condition of the petitioner is very critical. Even the doctor had advised him not to go in a crowded area and remain in a very hygienic condition to avoid infection. Obviously, the jail is not such a place where the condition as required could be made available,” Justice Suresh Kait observed.

The court has asked Amar Singh, who underwent a renal transplant in September 2009, to furnish surety and personal bonds of Rs.50 lakh each.

He was held Sep 6 for his alleged involvement in an attempt to bribe MPs ahead of the July 2008 parliament trust vote.

On July 22, 2008, then BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste, Mahavir Bhagora and Ashok Argal waved currency notes in the Lok Sabha ahead of a trust vote, alleging they were given the money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government.

While Amar Singh headed home, Yeddyurappa, the BJP’s first chief minister in the south, prepared to spend a lonely Diwali behind bars with the Karnataka High Court adjourning the bail hearing on grounds that the arguments were inconclusive.He was arrested and sent to judicial custody by a special Lokayukta (ombudsman) court in two of the five corruption and illegal land deal cases against him.(IANS)


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