New Delhi, Jun 8 : DMK MP Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar will remain confined to Tihar Jail as the Delhi High Court today dismissed their bail pleas in the 2G case, saying they have strong political connections and the possibility of them influencing witnesses cannot be ruled out.
"They have got strong political connections. Kanimozhi belongs to the same political party to which accused A Raja belongs and it is sharing power in the Central Government.
"Thus, considering their financial and political clout, a possibility cannot be ruled out that if they are freed at this stage, they would interfere with investigation or try to influence the witnesses. Thus, at this stage, I do not deem it appropriate to admit the petitioners on bail," Justice Ajit Bharihoke said in his 37-page order.
The 43-year-old daughter of DMK supremo M Karunanidhi and Sharad Kumar, named as accused in the second charge sheet for allegedly taking bribe of Rs 200 crore, were arrested on May 20 after the special court dismissed their bail pleas in the case.
The court noted the CBI allegations that Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar received illegal gratifications in the DMK-run TV channel from co-accused and Swan Telecom promoters, Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, from the account of DB Realty group companies as "reward for undue favours" shown by former Telecom Minister A Raja in allocation of 2G licences.
"Kanimozhi and Sharad accepted and received an illegal gratification of Rs 200 crores in Kalaignar TV from the co-accused Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka in the year 2008-09 as a reward for undue favours shown by accused A Raja in connivance of other public servants to Swan Telecom in the matter of allocation of valuable scarce spectrum," it said.
Kanimozhi's mother Rajathi Ammal and DMK parliamentary party leader T R Baalu were present in the courtroom when the order was pronounced.
Kanimozhi, the 43-year-old daughter of DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, and Kumar were named by the CBI for allegedly receiving a kick back to tune of Rs 200 crore. Both Kanimozhi and Kumar have 20 per cent stake each in Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd which allegedly received Rs 200 crore through a “circuitous” route from Shahid Balwa promoted D B Realty.
DMK chief's wife Dayalu Ammal, who has been left out of the list of accused, owns the remaining 60 per cent shares in the channel.
Kanimozhi and Kumar had moved the high court on May 23 challenging the trial court's order which had rejected their bail pleas, saying the offence attributed to them was grave and the possibility of influencing the witnesses cannot be ruled out.
CBI Special Judge O P Saini had on May 20 rejected the bail pleas of Kanimozhi and Kumar and ordered their “forthwith” arrest. They are currently lodged in Tihar Jail.
Kanimozhi, who sought bail in the special court on the ground of being a woman, had approached the high court seeking relief citing the need to look after her school-going child who is devoid of her care as his father is working abroad.
Justice Bharihoke had on May 23 dismissed bail pleas of five corporate honchos, including Unitech Group MD Sanjay Chandra and Reliance ADAG MD Gautam Doshi in the case, saying there was a possibility that they may influence the witnesses. PTI