New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday took exception to Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid's reported statement that putting businessmen behind bars will hamper investments in the country, saying if true it is "disturbing".

The Apex Court also made known its disapproval of reports that CBI would not oppose the bail pleas of the 2G spectrum scam accused including DMK MP Kanimozhi which prompted the investigating agency to refute such speculation.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and H L Dattu asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Haren Raval to clarify the Khurshid's statement, while hearing the bail pleas of 2G case
accused - Managing Director of Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd Sanjay Chandra and Swan Telecom's Director Vinod Goenka.

"It appears and gives an impression as if we are interested in keeping these businessmen behind bars. Is this news report/statement and what has been reported in newspapers totally correct? It was in the headline of a leading newspaper. If it is correct, it is disturbing for us," the bench told Raval, who was opposing the bail pleas of Chandra and Goenka.

Appearing for Goenka, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi told the bench that the statement was published in a leading newspaper and it is correct and his view was also sought during a TV debate.

The bench wanted to know from Raval whether he was supporting the stand taken by the minister as reported in the newspaper and whether the statement was correct or not as it
was causing "confusion".

The bench, which expressed surprise over reports that the CBI will not oppose the bail pleas of DMK's Kanimozhi and certain other accused in the scam case, wanted to know from the agency whether "it is in favour of (granting) bail or opposing their bail". However, the ASG said the report was not correct and he has the instruction to oppose the bail pleas of the accused.

During the hearing, the bench said that there are public relation officers in the CBI who could have contradicted any misleading news item.

The bench said the issue before it was a serious matter on which the hearing has been going on for over a month.

"We want to know is there a change in your stand. After reading the newspaper report today, we thought that you (Raval) will come out with a change in stand that he has a
different position but we are surprised," the bench said.

However, the bench said it is very clear even if it is the stand of the government, these things will not affect the proceedings of the court.

"If you have such instructions, tell us. It will not affect us." However, the ASG said, "I have instructions to oppose the bail."

Media reports had said that CBI will not oppose the bail plea of Kanimozhi on the ground that she was a woman and that of bollywood producer Karim Morani and Reliance ADAG executive Surendra Pipara on medical grounds.

Among the top business executives jailed in connection with the 2G case are Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Blawa, Swan Telecom Director Vinod Goenka, Reliance ADAG group
Managing Director Gautam Doshi and its senior Vice-President Hari Nair.

The three Reliance ADAG executives have also applied for bail in the Apex Court and their counsel asked the bench to take up their case on completion of the arguments on behalf of
Chandra and Goenka. Sanjay Chandra, Managing Director of Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd, Sharad Kumar, Managing Director of DMK-run Kalaignar TV and Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal are also in jail in connection with the case.

Among the public servants who are behind bars are former Telecom Minister A Raja, his Private Secretary R K Chandolia and former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura.

(Agencies)