The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court Friday said it will pronounce, on Oct 22, its order on framing of charges in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, involving former communications minister A. Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and 15 others.Reserving its order on the crucial stage of framing of charges, after which a formal trial begins in a criminal case, CBI special judge O.P. Saini said: “Put up for order on charges on Oct 22.”
In the process of framing of charges, the court decides as to who among the accused has sufficient prima facie evidence against him to be put on trial.
The court also made it clear that it would give order on the bail applications of various accused, including Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV chief Sharad Kumar, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa, Cineyug Films director Karim Morani, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, both directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, and R.K. Chandolia, ex-personal secretary to Raja, on Oct 24.
The order on charge was reserved after Special Public Prosecutor U.U. Lalit wrapped up his rebuttal arguments on framing of additional charges of criminal breach of trust under the Indian Penal Code against all the 17 accused.
Earlier, the Supreme Court bench monitoring the case had asked CBI as to how long it was going to keep the accused in jail.
The special court was to pronounce its order on the framing of charges against all the 17 accused Sep 15, but it was not done then.
The bench observed the 2G case accused have been behind bars for over seven months now, while the court was yet to decide on framing of charges in case.
The CBI charge sheet accuses Raja and others of causing a whopping loss of Rs.30,984 crore to the exchequer by allocating spectrum to ineligible operators as per a criminal conspiracy among themselves.
Their acts also involved commission of penal offences of forgery and cheating, besides the misuse of official position by public servants as per the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Towards the fag end of conclusion of argument on framing of charges, the CBI had also sought slapping the charge of criminal breach of trust against the accused. The new charge entails a sentence of life term on conviction.
All the accused have vehemently opposed the charges levelled against them by the CBI.