2G Scam: Court dismisses plea of accused on draft questionnaire
A Delhi court has dismissed a plea of a private firm executive, facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case
New Delhi: A Delhi court has dismissed a plea of a private firm executive, facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case, that long and common questions have been put to each accused even though they were not relevant to them.
Special CBI Judge O P Saini rejected the petition of Asif Balwa, Director of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Limited, observing that in a case of conspiracy, every conspirator was an ‘agent’ of another.
“This is a case of conspiracy and every circumstance is required to be put to each accused. In such a case, every conspirator is an agent of other conspirators,” the judge said.
The court also observed that each accused has been supplied with a separate questionnaire and the questions were based upon the evidence recorded during the trial in the case.
“As such, it cannot be said that the questions are common. Statement of each accused shall be recorded separately as per the evidence on record. There is no question of common questions being put to the accused,” it said.
The court, however, allowed Balwa’s prayer to defer the recording of statements of the accused for two weeks and fixed the matter for May 5.
The court held that some questions may appear to be long but they pertain to a material fact and have been put together to make them ‘logical’.
“However, if despite every care and caution being exercised in framing the questions, any question is not understandable to any accused and he has difficulty in understanding the same, the accused is at liberty to ask for explaining the question and if despite that any accused still expresses his inability to understand the question, the same can be split up into smaller parts, if so desired by the accused and warranted by the facts of the question,” it said.
Balwa, in his plea filed through advocate Vijay Aggarwal, had sought ‘sufficient time’ to answer the questions being asked from the accused by the court and pleaded that ‘relevant questions’ should be put forth.
“That the questions are ‘common set of questions’ to be asked from all the accused persons. Asking of common questions has been held to be impermissible by the Supreme Court” he had said.
He had also claimed that circumstances against co-accused persons were admittedly different and questions relating to other firms have been asked to other accused.
The move had come after the court had on March 27 given a ‘draft questionnaire’ running into 824 pages to 17 accused, including former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and other top corporate honchos.
The court had supplied the draft questionnaire, containing 1,718 questions to the advocates representing the 17 accused.