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2G case: Behura says CBI discriminating

Former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, arrested in the 2G case, Tuesday told a special court here that the CBI was discriminating against him by not opposing the bail pleas of other accused. The court reserved its order on his bail plea till Nov 3.

 Senior advocate Aman Lekhi, appearing for Behura, told Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge O.P. Saini that the prosecution was making a distinction between his client and other accused seeking bail.

It showed there was political intrusion in the legal process, he said.

 While referring to the CBI’s stand of not opposing the bail pleas of five accused, including DMK MP Kanimozhi, Lekhi said: “It is a colourable exercise of power.”

 “If the prosecution has conceded bail to Kanimozhi and (four) others, then all accused should be treated equally. Law makes no distinction among the accused,” he said.

 “The Supreme Court has rightly asked the CBI to explain on what basis they were doing so (discriminating),” Lekhi argued.

 Special Public Prosecutor U.U. Lalit denied Lekhi’s allegation against the agency saying: “I do not hold brief for anyone. I stand here as a prosecutor purely in the capacity of an impartial observer to place the facts before the court.”

 Lalit said that the change in circumstances after framing of charges against Behura was detrimental to him.

 The charge sheet earlier indicted him with charges punishable up to seven years of jail term whereas now he was charged for criminal breach of trust by public servant, carrying a maximum punishment of life term.

 After all the parties concluded their arguments, Judge Saini said: “Order on bail application of accused (Behura) is reserved till Nov 3.”

 The court is also likely to pronounce its verdict on the bail plea of other accused. They included Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV chief Sharad Kumar, Cineyug Film’s Karim Morani and Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd. directors Asif Balwa and Rajiv B. Agarwal, whose bail pleas were not opposed by the CBI.

 It will also pronounce its order on the bail application of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa and former communications minister A. Raja’s private secretary R.K. Chandolia.

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