New Delhi: The bail plea of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa and personal secretary of former Telecom Minister A Raja in the 2G spectrum allocation scam was dismissed by a Delhi court on Friday. (Agencies)
The plea was rejected by the court on grounds that that they are "high ranking public servants", "influential" and may tamper with the probe.
"Considering the facts and the circumstances of the case, arbitrary acts done by the accused, quantum of loss to the state exchequer, role of accused R K Chandolia in arranging the counters in a particular manner and the fact that the company of Balwa was initially ineligible and was subsequently shown to be eligible by forging the documents, I am not inclined to enlarge them to bail," Special CBI Judge O P Saini said.
In not granting the relief, the judge also took into account the "initial stage of the investigation and other facts and circumstances of the case".
Dismissing their bail applications, the court considered the fact that Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, promoted by Balwa, was ineligible for 2G licenses as the holding firm of the company was indirectly funded by Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG).
"M/s Reliance Telecom Limited of ADAG group of companies had already been granted license in some circles and, as such, M/s Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, its associate company, was not eligible for license," the CBI Judge said.
The court said Swam Telecom should not have applied for licenses in the first place as it was incorporated by M/s Reliance group of companies and thus was ineligible.
The court also considered the alleged fabrication of records relating to various companies with an objective to make Swam Telecom eligible for the license.
The judge noted that Rs 200 crores were transferred by group companies of DB group, in which Balwa was the Managing Director, to Kalaignar TV, belonging to Sharad Kumar and others who are closely associated with Raja, after the allotment of Unified Access Service (UAS) licences.
"It is CBI's allegation that these Rs 200 crores were transferred as a consideration for helping the company in obtaining UAS licenses to the Kalaignar TV, in which associates 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 accordance with the recommendations of TRAI and Telecom Commission" and he had no role to play in the change of cut-off date for receipt of applications.
Counsel for Chandolia said he was only a private secretary to the former Telecom Minister and as part of duty he used to put up files before Raja.
The court allowed the submissions of CBI which said the accused were influential and could tamper with the probe.
"There is no doubt that R K Chandolia is a high-ranking public servant and accused Balwa is also an influential businessman. Accordingly, I find a merit in the submission of Special Public Prosecutor for CBI that if these accused are released on bail, they may tamper with evidence or witnesses may not come forward to give statements, more so when no one came forward to complain against their illegal acts," the court said.
Chandolia was arrested along with Raja by CBI on February 2 while Balwa was taken into custody on February 8.
The probe agency had lodged an FIR on October 21, 2009 against some unnamed persons in the case, and arrested Raja and others under various provisions of the IPC dealing with criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Though the agency has pegged the loss due to spectrum allocation at Rs 22,000 crore based on the calculations made by the CVC, the CAG had in its report projected a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
New Delhi: The bail plea of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa and personal secretary of former Telecom Minister A Raja in the 2G spectrum allocation scam was dismissed by a Delhi court on Friday.