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Balwa drags Sibal, PM into 2G scam

The first high profile corporate accused in the 2G spectrum scam began his arguments in court against the CBI charges on Monday by relying on “zero loss” statements made by the prime minister and telecom minister Kapil Sibal.

Shahid Usman Balwa of DB Realty argued before the special CBI court of O P Saini that he didn’t cause any loss to the exchequer and quoted PM Manmohan Singh and Sibal’s statements, wondering how the CBI could book him when both the PM and the telecom minister “have said that there was no loss in the 2G case”.

“Sixteen months after the FIR was registered, the PM gave a statement in Lok Sabha that there was no loss in the 2G case. The government of India is the main victim in this case. Why didn’t the CBI write a letter to any minister or relevant person in the government who could tell about the actual loss to the exchequer,” Balwa’s lawyer Majid Memon asked, seeking his client’s discharge in the case.

He added that telecom minister Kapil Sibal had categorically stated that there was no loss in the 2G case. “Who can know better than him? He is a responsible minister and hence will not
make an irresponsible statements… he made the statement after he got the feed by
a team of his people,” Memon said.

Balwa contended that his incarceration had spoiled the investment climate in the country and caused alarm worldwide and many international agencies were contemplating sending observers to monitor the trial. “A wrong message has gone to the world by jailing Balwa. Members of International Bar with Amnesty International want to send observers. So do members of Fair Trial International and United Nations human rights wing,” Memon claimed. The observers wanted to monitor the trial as “they are wondering why corporate accused charged under these offences continue to be in jail so long”.

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Desh Kapoor

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