At 2G court: Greetings for Kani, anxious moments for others
While DMK MP Kanimozhi will walk out of Tihar after being incarcerated for nearly six months, the anxious wait for bail continues for many other high-profile accused of the 2G scam, says Sheela Bhatt
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Member of Parliament Kanimozhi will walk free in a couple of hours. She was brought from Tihar Jail to Patiala House on Tuesday to appear before Central Bureau of Investigation's Special Judge O P Saini who is conducting the trial in the 2G spectrum case, in which Kanimozhi is an accused.
She will remain one till the trial gets over and the judgment is delivered on her role in the sensational scam over the allocation of the 2G spectrum at throwaway prices.
Wearing a pastel salwar-suit, she walked into the foyer of the court a little after 10 am, smiling at her party workers.
Two Tamil-speaking journalists congratulated her profusely for finally being granted bail. When her lawyer was presenting her bail bond, she took the seat next to her husband. Some of the lawyers representing the other accused in the 2G scam also greeted her.
The lawyer of Shahid Balwa greeted her too. "Kani! Congratulations," he said in an excited tone.
Kanimozhi received the greetings in a dignified manner. Her walk, manner of speaking and body language suggested that she is made of sterner stuff. She looked attractive in her simple get-up, but spoke softly without looking weak.
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Image: DMK MP Kanimozhi
'She had a tough time inside jail'
When rediff.com tried to talk to her, she said politely, "Daddy has asked me not to speak to the media."
But she did say that she was "very happy to get the bail."
She kept repeating that she had never expected that she would get bail on Monday. The surprise element was keeping the smile on her face.
Kanimozhi's assistant said, "Whatever little I know about madam, I can say that she would like to spend time in her house with her mother, husband and child."
"During summer, she had a tough time inside jail. But still, she replied to all the members of the party who wrote to her in Tihar Jail," said a party member.
Initially, it was tough for Kanimozhi to sleep in her cell but she adjusted later on. She kept herself occupied by reading and writing letters.
Members of DMK had lined up along the way to the court. Even before Kanimozhi got bail, the foyer outside the court room of Judge Saini was full of activities. A kind of informal darbar takes place here.
Image: Tihar Jail
'My clients will be acquitted'
Former telecom minister and 2G scam accused A Raja was also in court on Tuesday, talking with the fellow accused, who has got bail. In fact, outside the court, nobody seemed to be thinking of the scam, money or "the loss to Indian exchequer" or anything like that.
It was an informal get-together of people who think they are getting raw deal. They kept on saying that under Article 21 and under the provision of the Indian Penal Code, they should have been granted bail a long time ago.
Article 21 talks about protection of life and personal liberty. It says, "No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law."
Raja and Kanimozhi are revered by their party members. The security officers protecting them are respectful. Journalists trudge in and out but most of the times they wear a friendly look.
The many lawyers of the accused crowd the area but they are the real VVIPs for their clients.
Majid Menon, the lawyer of Vinod Goenka and Shahid Balwa of D B Realty, comes all the way from Mumbai to help his clients.
He told rediff.com, "We are not worried at all. We trust the court. My clients' cases are strong and they will be acquitted." (Shahid Balwa was granted bail on Tuesday, Goenka was granted bail by the Supeme Court)
Image: Shahid Balwa
Some still waiting for bail
Besides Kanimozhi, others who were granted bail on Monday are Kalaignar TV Managing Director Sharad Kumar, Bollywood filmmaker Karim Morani and Kusegaon Fruits and vegetables Pvt Ltd directors Rajiv Aggarwal and Asif Balwa.
Their family members were present in the court.
The bail plea of R K Chandolia, private secretary to former telecom minister A Raja, is deferred. Chandolia and his daughter were tense. When his daughter started crying Chandolia could not control himself.
Raja and Shahid Balwa rushed to pacify him.
In fact, public servants arrested in the case are more worried than the corporates or politicians. They are not sure about getting bail, even after Supreme Court's judgement in the case that granted bail to a few accused.
Surendra Pipara and Gautam Doshi, Reliance executives and accused in the case, were present too. They have got bail but the law requires them to be present for the trial.
Doshi was busy correcting typed papers while Pipara was texting on his phone. Frequently, they have been given company inside the court room by their company's senior executive and Anil Ambani's confidante Tony Jesudasan. He was present in the court on Tuesday also.
Image: Former telecom minister A Raja
'I am elated'
Former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, who is one of the main accused, was present with his wife. His bail plea is pending before the court but he looked worried. His wife was solving something that looked like Sokudo puzzles.
The other five accused, who have been released earlier, are also attending the court as per the requirement of the law.
Goenka of D B Realty is a relieved man. He keeps busy with his I-Pad. He told rediff.com, "I am elated."
His father migrated from Karachi, said Goenka, and settled down in Bhiwani, Haryana. A man of few words, he is rejoicing his hard-earned freedom.
All the 2G scam accused, who are walking free after receiving bail, will be meeting in the night at a party organised by a common friend.
"I don't like Delhi. People are selfish here," says Goenka.
Image: Vinod Goenka