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CBI should not make irresponsible statement: Balwa tells court

Statesman News Service |

Press Trust of India
NEW DELHI, 3 SEP: Swan Telecom Promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, facing trial in the 2G spectrum case, today told a Delhi court that CBI should not make any “irresponsible statement” without verifying their facts.
Mr Balwa appeared before the court today after CBI had yesterday alleged that they have got “information” that the Swan Telecom promoter was travelling abroad without prior permission.
CBI prosecutor K K Goel had made the statement while opposing Mr Balwa’s plea for personal exemption from appearance before the court for five days.
Mr Balwa’s counsel Vijay Aggarwal told the judge that due to such “irresponsible statement” by CBI, accused has to go through trauma and his client has never gone abroad without taking prior permission from the court.
“Sir, Mr Shahid Balwa is here. Yesterday my colleague (CBI prosecutor) had made an irresponsible statement in the court. My request is that he (prosecutor) should not make such comments without verifying facts,” Mr Aggarwal told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.
He said that Mr Balwa is a “public figure” and he cannot go abroad without prior permission as his passport is lying in the court.
“Please see the trauma through which I had gone due to this irresponsible statement. I have never done this. I have gone abroad only after taking prior permission from the court,” he said.
During the brief submission, defence counsel Majeed Memon said that the accused and the lawyers have the highest respect for the court and it was “very irresponsible” on CBI’s part to make such a statement.
“They (CBI) should verify the facts and also pull up such sources from where such information has come,” he said, adding that they have received several calls yesterday about CBI’s allegation against Mr Balwa.
CBI, however, did not say anything today regarding the allegation against Mr Balwa. 
Mr Balwa’s counsel had yesterday moved a plea for exemption from personal appearance from 2 September to 6 September on grounds of “emergency”. He had later on withdrew the plea.
CBI had opposed it, saying it has got some information “otherwise” about Balwa and the accused should honour the court.
The prosecutor had initially said he does not want to “divulge” the information but later on said CBI has got information that Mr Balwa has travelled abroad.
Mr Aggarwal had argued that he had also heard some “rumour” regarding this and CBI “should not act on rumours”.
Mr Balwa is facing trial in 2G case along with others including former telecom minister A Raja and was granted bail by the special court on 29 November, 2011.
The judge had imposed several conditions on him including that he will surrender his passport in the court and will not leave the country without its prior permission.
The court had said Balwa, who was arrested on 8 February, 2011, should not remain absent from any proceeding related to the case without its prior permission and should also inform CBI about the same.
While giving bail to Mr Balwa, the judge had granted liberty to CBI to move an application for modification or recalling the order “if for any reason, the petitioner (Balwa) violates any of the conditions imposed by this court or creates any condition which is not conducive to the holding of a fair trial.”
Mr Balwa is facing trial in the 2G case for allegedly procuring spectrum licence for his ineligible firm under a criminal conspiracy with Raja and other government officials and by paying a bribe of Rs 200 crore to DMK-run Kalaignar TV, showing the transaction as an inter-corporate loan.