Raja granted bail, walks out of Tihar
PTI NEW DELHI A RAJA, the prime accused in 2G spectrum scam, on Tuesday walked out of Tihar jail amid a rousing welcome by Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) workers who burst crackers celebrating the release of the former Telecom Minister on bail.
As the 49-year-old Lok Sabha MP stepped out of Gate no 4 of the Tihar jail, he was received by DMK MP from Kanyakumari J Halen Davidson.
Dressed in his trademark white shirt and dhoti, Raja came out of the jail even as many of his supporters waiving DMK flags and DMK Parliamentary Party leader T R Baalu waited at Gate no 3 to receive him.
Raja quickly took his seat in a grey Toyota Corola as photographers jostled with hundreds of DMK supporters to capture the moment.
A few of Raja’s supporters managed to shake hands with him while others followed his car in buses and other vehicles.
Raja did not speak to journalists.
Earlier in the day after Raja was granted bail, DMK leadership swung into action without losing any time to complete the formalities for securing the bail order from the court after furnishing the bail bond and sureties for his release from jail on the same day.
The 2G special court granted bail to him after dismissing the CBI’s apprehensions that he will tamper with evidence.
He had sought bail last week, holding that his further detention would not serve any purpose as all the other 13 coaccused have already been out of jail.
Considering the period of detention in the light of the progress of the case, the court said it was of the opinion that further detention of Mr. Raja would not serve any purpose.
M A Parameswari, Raja’s wife, who was in the court when the order was passed by Special CBI Judge O P Saini, was visibly relieved as she told reporters outside later that the family is happy and will have a get together. “There will be no celebrations,” she said.
Celebrations broke out outside the court soon after news of his bail trickled out with a large number of his supporters and some party MPs gathering to cheer him. They distributed sweets.
In his 14-page order, the judge imposed several conditions on Raja including a ban on his visit to his home State of Tamil Nadu or the Department of Telecom (DoT) which he presided over as Minister for over three years.
He had resigned as Minister in November 2010 in the wake of the eruption of 2G scam, into whose probe the Supreme Court had given stern directions.
On the apprehension of the CBI that if granted bail Raja may influence witnesses and tamper with evidence, the court said it addressed them by imposing conditions and restrictions on the accused.
The court noted that entire evidence in the case was documentary and was in its custody.
“Moreover, this apprehension of the prosecution (that Raja may influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence) can be addressed by imposing conditions and restrictions on the accused.
“Furthermore, almost entire evidence in the case is documentary in nature and the same is in the custody of the court,” the judge said.
The court also directed Raja to surrender his passport as a prerequisite for bail.
Besides Raja, his private secretary R K Chandolia, Behura, DMK MP Kanimozhi, corporate honchos — Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group’s MD Gautam Doshi, ADAG group President Surendra Pipara and Senior Vice President Hari Nair, Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra and Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka — are facing trial in the case.
The court has also put on trial Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Director of Cineyug Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd Karim Morani and Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal.
Besides these 14 persons, three telecom firms — Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd, are also facing trial in the case.