Shahid Balwa, the promoter of Swan Telecom, has been granted bail in Delhi today. Of the 14 people arrested for the telecom scam, 11 have now been permitted to go home. Those still in prison include former telecom minister A Raja, and two former bureaucrats who worked closely with him.
Mr Balwa is accused of paying Mr Raja a 214-crore kickback in return for a telecom licence in 2008. In the CBI’s investigation so far, sources say this is the only instance of a traceable quid pro quo. Mr Balwa was arrested on February 8 along with senior executives of other telecoms like Reliance ADAG and Unitech Wireless. Those executives were granted bail by the Supreme Court last week. And after that, the Delhi High Court granted bail to another group yesterday whose most famous member is Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi.
The daughter of DMK chief M Karunanidhi will leave Tihar Jail this evening. Her arrest had stretched to near-breaking point the relationship between her father and the Congress. With 16 Lok Sabha MPs, Mr Karunanidhi is a hefty member of the coalition at the Centre. He has confirmed that Kanimozhi will travel to Chennai in a few days.
She is accused of using a TV channel partly owned by her to serve as the landing place for Mr Balwa’s kickback to Mr Raja. Like Kanimozhi, Mr Raja is a powerful DMK leader. So far, his party has stood by him. The former minister has said he will not apply for bail.