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2G: CBI Doesn't Oppose Kanimozhi Bail Plea

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A Delhi court will decide on November 3 the fresh bail petitions moved by DMK MP Kanimozhi and four other accused on Monday in the 2G case after the CBI did not object to their plea.

Two days after charges were framed against them, special CBI judge O P Saini reserved his order on the bail petitions of Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Directors of Kusegaon Fruits & Vegetables Asif Balwa, Rajiv Agarwal and Bollywood producer Karim Morani.

During arguments, special public prosecutor U U Lalit, appearing for the CBI, said that the agency had no objection if they were granted bail by the court.

"First bail be granted to them subject to the discretion of this court if the court deems it fit," Lalit said.

The court, however, will hear the arguments on bail pleas of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa and A Raja's former private secretary R K Chandolia as the CBI opposed their petitions.

"I would humbly submit and request the court to consider the bail pleas of these five accused," Lalit said.

"I do not know how much time each accused has spent in custody but they have at least spent 5-6 months. This court might consider their bail pleas.

"Of course, bail should be given to them subject to the court's discretion. But the court must ensure their presence during hearings by imposing certain conditions," he said

He, however, opposed grant of bail to Shahid Balwa and Chandolia, saying, "One can make distinction so far as those for whom maximum punishment can be five years and those against whom maximum punishment can be seven years. At this juncture, I am opposing the bail pleas of accused 3 (RK Chandolia) and accused 4 (Shahid Balwa)."

Earlier in the day, pleading for bail, the 43-year-old daughter of DMK Chief M Karunanidhi, who has been in jail for the last five months since her arrest on May 20, said charges against her have now been framed and as per the order of the Supreme Court, she can approach the special court afresh for bail.

"As per the Supreme Court order on June 22 in the case of Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar, liberty was given to them to file fresh application for bail before the special court after framing of charges," her counsel and senior advocate Altaf Ahmed said.

Invoking the special provision of bail to a woman accused, the counsel said Kanimozhi should be released on bail.

Ahmed submitted that the court could impose any condition to ensure that Kanimozhi does not flee from justice and remains present before the judge as and when required.

He said the accused should be released on bail as the trial in the case will take time since it involves 154 witnesses, 17 accused and 790 documents running into more than one lakh pages.