Court reserves order on Raja's bail plea
New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court Friday reserved for May 15 its order on the bail plea of former telecom minister A. Raja, arrested in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
"Arguments heard, keep the order for May 15," special CBI judge O.P. Saini said.
The CBI opposed the bail application of Raja, saying that he is facing charges of accepting bribes of Rs.200 crore, which makes his case different from former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, who was granted bail by the Supreme Court Wednesday.
Raja, in his bail application, has requested the court to release him on the ground of parity.
CBI prosecutor A.K. Singh said that Raja has been charged with graver offences than other accused who have been released so far.
"Allegation against the applicant are that of indulging in self-aggrandisement by utilising government property and in distribution of the largesse of the government to his own favorites for certain quid pro quo," said CBI in its reply.
The agency said that important prosecution witnesses of department of telecommunications and other private people, especially connected to alleged bribe transaction of Rs. 200 crore from DB Group companies to Kalaignar TV, are yet to be examined.
It told the court that if accused is released on bail at this crucial stage of trial, then he may influence the vital witness as some of them are natives of Raja's state Tamil Nadu.
The CBI also told the court that some parts of the case are still under investigation.
"This accused (Raja) and other public servants are also involved in other tranche of Rs.200 crore which they have received as bribe and this was not known earlier and has come up during the investigation," Singh said.
Raja's counsel Ramesh Gupta requested court to grant him bail citing the apex court judgment and contending that the top court has not distinguished the case of a public servant from others.
"Raja is no longer a minister, he is in custody for the longest period and record indicates that he was the most co-operative among the accused during the course of trial," he argued.
Raja resigned as minister Nov 14, 2010 in the wake of the Comptroller and Auditor General reporting that his 2008 decision to allocate 2G spectrum on a first-come-first-served basis had caused the exchequer a presumptive loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore. The CBI arrested him Feb 2, 2011.
The Supreme Court in February cancelled 122 spectrum licences allocated during Raja's tenure. It also ruled that all natural resources should be allocated through an auction, which the government is now preparing to do in the case of the cancelled licences.
Except Raja, all the other arrested 13 accused have been granted bail.
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