Four lawyers held for attack on Bangalore journalists

Four lawyers were arrested late Saturday for their suspected involvement in a violent attack the day before on journalists and policemen at the city civil court complex, police said.

“We have so far arrested four advocates under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for their suspected involvement in the violent incidents at the court complex Friday in which several journalists and policemen were attacked, vehicles were damaged and media equipment was destroyed,” Bangalore Police Commissioner B.G. Jyothiprakash Mirji told reporters here.

The arrested lawyers are A.P. Ranganath, Somesh, Arun Naik and Santosh. Ranganath is general secretary of the Advocates Association of Bangalore.

The accused were presented before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Manjunath for remand.

“We have registered 31 cases against 25 advocates and others, some more arrests are likely soon. A special team has been formed to investigate the violent incidents in which 57 policemen, a dozen journalists, cameramen of news channels and photographers were injured,” Mirji said.

“We will arrest all those suspected to have attacked media persons and policemen on duty. There is no pressure on us to spare anyone as we have taken serious view of the incidents to prevent such recurrence to maintain peace and law and order,” Mirji said.

The attack took place when about 100 media persons were present at the court complex to cover the appearance of tainted former state minister and mining baron G. Janardhana Reddy in a court for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore rupee mining scam in the state.



Raja, 11 others formally charged in 2G spectrum case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Saturday filed its first chargesheet of 127 pages with 80,000-page annexure against nine people and three firms in the case involving the allocation of second generation (2G) telecom spectrum.

The chargesheet, brought in seven steel boxes, was filed in the special court of CBI Judge O.P. Saini.

Among those named are former communications minister A. Raja, his personal aide R.K. Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa, director Vinod Goenka and Unitech Wireless director Sanjay Chandra.

Raja has been accused on several counts.

Three officials from the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group — Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara — as also three companies, Unitech, Reliance and Swan telecom, were also named as accused in the allocation of spectrum.

Among the individuals, four are already in judicial custody. The court issued summons to the others asking them to appear before it by April 13.

The three officials of the Anil Ambani Group were named in the chargesheet for allegedly concealing the in-eligibility of Swan Telecom for the grant of spectrum, said one of the investigative officers in the case.

Unitech, too, the chargesheet alleged was ineligible as the company did not have the necessary amendment in its memorandum and articles of association to enter the telecom business.

“The public is reminded the above findings are based on the investigation done by CBI and evidence collected by it,” the probe agency said. “Under the Indian law, the accused are presumed to be innocent till their guilt is finally established after a fair trial.”

The accused have been chargesheeted under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, including cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.

“We have 125 witnesses on whose information the agency has attached 654 documents to the chargesheet in the case,” said a CBI official.

“In the entire episode, the government incurred a loss of Rs.30,984 crore. Swan and Unitech telecom were the two companies totally ineligible for the licence allocation,” the official added.

“We are also investigating Kaliagnar TV, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal, who are the directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables, and Cineyug and Green House promoters,” said senior public prosecutor specially called from Guwahati, A.K. Singh.

“They are likely to be named in the supplementary chargesheet that will be submitted by end-April,” Singh said, adding, the name of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Private Ltd has since changed to Kusegaon Realty.

Regarding Raja’s close associate Sadiq Batcha, who was found dead under mysterious ciscumstances at his Chennai home last month, the probe agency said that they were tracing the alleged kick-backs in the scam that could have been routed through him.