Swan Telecom's Shahid Balwa gets bail
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Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa was given bail on Tuesday, the eleventh of the 14 accused to be out after higher courts recently granted bail to 10 of his co-accused, including DMK MP Kanimozhi.
Former Telecom minister A Raja and two others -- RK Chandolia and Siddhartha Behura -- are now the only ones behind bars.
Earlier in the day, the CBI told the special CBI court that it would not oppose the bail plea of Shahid Balwa.
"As an officer of this court, considering the umbrella charges vis-a-vis individual charges framed against the accused, we are not opposing the bail plea at this juncture in view of the Supreme Court and high court orders," Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit told Special CBI judge O P Saini.
He said charges framed against Balwa were similar to those against co-accused and Swan Telecom Director Vinod Goenka, who has been granted bail by the Supreme Court.
Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for Balwa, said his client was the only private person who was still in judicial custody.
He cited the high court order granting bail to Kanimozhi and four others, to drive home the point that bail is the rule and the court should consider that an accused is innocent until proven guilty.
The CBI had arrested Shahid Balwa, director of Mumbai-based DB Realty early February.
CBI officials claimed they had clinching evidence against Balwa, that he channelled the money allegedly received by the former Telecom Minister A Raja and invested it in the real estate sector.
The Enforcement Directorate had trailed Rs 214 crore allegedly routed by Balwa and DB Realty to Chennai-based Kalaignar television, a channel promoted by family members of DMK leader and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi.
Balwa's DB Realty had acquired Swan Telecom which bagged 2G licences for 13 circles. Within months, the company sold 45 per cent of shares for Rs 4,500 crore to UAE-based Etisalat. Swan Telecom was later renamed Etisalat DB.
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