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Two judges recuse from hearing Kani’s bail plea

Jun 18, 2011

A two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Friday recused itself from scheduled hearing of DMK MP Kanimozhi’s bail plea on Monday, prompting the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to refer the case before a special Bench comprising Justice G S Singhvi who is monitoring the probe in the 2G spectrum scam case.

A Bench of Justice Singhvi and Justice B S Chauhan would now hold the hearing on bail plea of the daughter of DMK Chief M Karunanidhi and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar on June 20.

Justices P Sathasivam and A K Patnaik, who are now presiding over a Vacation Bench, informed the CJI Justice S H Kapadia about their decision recusing from hearing the case.

Kanimozhi and Kumar have been in jail since May 20 after a special Court had denied them bail for their alleged role in the 2G scam. Both are accused of receiving more than Rs 200 crore for Kalaignar TV from accused Shahid Balwa’s firm allegedly as quid pro quo for spectrum allocation.The case has seen several high-profile persons including corporate honchos behind the bars.

Earlier, the CBI filed an affidavit in the Court opposing their bail pleas contending that they could influence witness and tamper with the evidence after being released from jail.  The probe agency also trashed the plea made by Kanimozhi and Kumar that Rs 200 crore money was received as loan amount.

CBI also referred to the order passed by the Delhi High Court denying bail to both the accused. It maintained that the High Court had dismissed their plea for bail after examining different material evidence and other factors.

Taking up the hearing on the bail petitions, the apex Court had on June 13 asked CBI to explain where the Rs 200 crore, allegedly diverted to DMK-owned Kalaignar TV in 2G scam, had gone and also to file a response in a week's time.

A Bench comprising Justice Chauhan and Justice Swatanter Kumar had also asked CBI to come out with a status report on the loss to the state exchequer due to the award of 13 licences to one of the telecom operators besides the trial proceedings in the CBI special Court.

Kanimozhi and Kumar had moved the apex Court seeking bail on June 10 challenging the Delhi High Court verdict rejecting their bail on the ground that they had strong political connections and there was a possibility of them influencing witnesses.