The ongoing trial of the 2G case turned ugly when a defence counsel, on being asked by the court not to pose irrelevant questions to a prosecution witness, accused the special judge of “bullying” him.
The heated exchange took place between advocate Vijay Aggarwal, the counsel for former Telecom Minister A Raja’s erstwhile Private Secretary R K Chandolia, an accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case, and Special Judge O P Saini during cross-examination of CBI witness R Gopalan, former secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs.
“You (judge) cannot bully me. I am not a peon in the court that you are talking to me like this. Please do not bully me like this,” Aggarwal snapped at the judge on being told not to ask irrelevant questions to the witness.
At this the judge retorted, “Who is bullying you? I am not talking to you as you are saying. Why are you shouting like this?”
Aggarwal, however, stood his ground and said, “No, you (judge) are bullying me. Do not talk to me in this manner.”
The brief argument between the counsel and the judge was pacified by other advocates, present in the court.
During recording of the statement, Gopalan said he had signed and sealed the sanction order of April 1 last year against accused Chandolia on behalf of the President of India.
“I have been shown sanction order against accused R K Chandolia dated April 1, 2011. This has been signed and sealed by me at point A on each page on behalf of the President of India.
“The competent authority to accord sanction for prosecution of accused Chandolia was Minister of Finance and at that time Pranab Mukherjee was the Finance Minister”
During the cross examination by Aggarwal, Gopalan denied that he had authenticated the “draft sanction order” received from the investigating officer of the CBI.