Additional sessions Judge O P Saini, who was hearing the 2G spectrum scam has put off the hearing of the bail application of Kanimozi, member of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Rajya Sabha, and daughter of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Karunanidhi till Saturday.
After day-long arguments on the bail applications for her and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, the special court for trying the scam adjourned the case for hearing until Saturday morning, to allow A K Singh, standing counsel of the Central Bureau of Investigation, to refute arguments of seasoned lawyers Ram Jethmalani who appeared on her behalf.
Special CBI Judge O P Saini ordered that status quo be maintained till it decides on their bail applications.
Kanimozhi, the 43-year-old daughter of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi who appeared in response to the summons of the court, was composed as Jethmalani said the conspiracy was hatched by Raja and she had no role in it.
Kanimozhi, who was escorted to the court by her husband Aravindan and a battery of 11 party MPs including DMK Parliamentary Party leader T R Baalu, faces the charge of criminal conspiracy and taking illegal gratification for Kalaignar TV for grant of 2G licenses.
Raja was also present in the courtroom along with other corporate honchos who are in custody as Jethmalani recorded a caveat saying his arguments for Kanimozhi were being made without prejudice to the case of the other accused including Raja.
Outside the court, DMK spokesman and MP T K S Elangovan sought to dismiss suggestions that Raja was being given up by the party.
"Jethmalani does not belong to the DMK. He is defending Kanimozhi and Raja will be defended by his advocate. This is how the court proceedings work," he said.
However, Vijay Agarwal, lawyer for co-accused Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarawal, said the CBI was adopting a "hostile" attitude against his clients while not arresting Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar who had allegedly received bribes.
At the outset, the eminent lawyer maintained that Kanimozhi "has no role, whatsoever, in the scam."
"My misfortune is that I am Karunanidhi's daughter and an MP. I have 20 per cent shares in Kalaignar TV. Show me one overt act of mine which relates to the offence."
He contended that apart from having 20 per cent shares in Kalaignar TV, she does not have any role in running its day-to-day affairs.
She is neither a board member nor had attended any board meeting of the channel, said Jethmalani, adding that being a woman she deserves to be granted bail.
Dealing with the CBI's allegations, Jethmalani said, "Even if we assume that A Raja (former telecom minister) got transferred the bribe money from Dynamix group to Kalaignar TV, no guilt is proved against me as I did not sign any of the documents on behalf of the recipient TV channel.
"Let us also assume that at his (Raja's) instance Rs 200 crore was routed to the TV channel. What is the offence committed by me? I am only a shareholder in the company," he asserted on her behalf.
Jethmalani also sought to blame co-accused Sharad Kumar when he said that it was he (Kumar) who took all the decisions on behalf of the TV channel.
"It is almost impossible to obtain a conviction of mine in this case," he said.
Citing various judgments of the Supreme Court and those of various American courts, Jethmalani said an overt act committed by the company cannot be attributed to a person who is its mere shareholder and did not take part in any of its decision-making processes, indicating his complicity in the case.
"I am an MP and a law-abiding citizen. Moreover, being a woman I be released on bail on furnishing of bond," he pleaded.
Jethmalani said, "I do not suggest that everybody is innocent in this case but so far as I am concerned I was not handling the day-to-day affairs of the company which had been in the chargesheet."
"I am just a shareholder and not a director who had signed any document during the alleged transfer of money," said Jethmalani.
"It is not the case of anybody that the TV channel came into being to get the 2G licences or to sell the same," Jethmalani said.
The court had also issued summons to the third accused, Cineyug Films Director Karim Morani, seeking his presence before it on Friday. Morani, however, sought exemption from appearance on medical grounds. The court granted him the relief.
During the day-long proceedings, advocate Vijay Agarwal, the counsel for two other co-accused Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal, too concluded his arguments on their bail pleas saying they had no role, whatsoever in the spectrum allocation case.
"The bribe which we paid allegedly to Kalaignar TV was also received back by us through proper banking channel and hence the allegations against us are without any basis," Agarwal said.
In a brief interaction with rediff.com Kanimozhi said that her husband would not interact with the mediapersons, and as far as she is concerned, she is feeling good. A little later in the afternoon she was seen giving mints to friends and mediapersons with a broad smile on her face.
However, she had a tough time to get out of courts as camerapersons waited on almost all the gates to take her pictures. She eventually made her exit from gate number five, but the newsmen were blocking her way there as well. Her husband Arvindan and security personnel had a harrowing time in getting her into a vehical before she could be driven out.
With reportage from PTI