New Delhi: Minutes after arriving in a Delhi court this morning, Kanimozhi, the daughter of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, applied for bail via her high-profile lawyer, Ram Jethmalani. If she is denied bail, Kanimozhi will go to jail.
Kanimozhi has been accused by the CBI of accepting a bribe along with her party man, A Raja, who was Telecom Minister and is now in jail for allegedly designing India's biggest scam birthed during the allocation of spectrum and licenses in 2008. (Read: Who is Kanimozhi?)
In court, Kanimozhi appeared relaxed and was seen smiling as she talked to her husband and senior leaders of her party like TR Baalu. Not everyone was as collected though - a DMK MP named Adi Shankar fainted in court.
Kanimozhi, who is a Rajya Sabha MP, told NDTV yesterday that she does not expect "leniency or special treatment because she is a woman." All the people chargesheeted in the 2G scam so far have been denied bail and are in jail, among them the executives of some of India's biggest telecom companies. Mr Jethmalani, however, said that legal guidelines state that "women, old people, children should normally be granted bail." Listing the reasons that his client qualifies for bail, Mr Jethmalani said, "She's a law abiding citizen, an MP and a woman." (Watch: 'Prepared for worst,' says Kanimozhi)
He also said that Kanimozhi is being targeted because she is the daughter of M Karunanidhi, who heads the DMK and is hoping to be re-elected as the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister - the results of the recently-held elections will be declared on May 13.
Ms Kanimozhi is part owner of a TV channel that allegedly became the landing strip for a 214-crore bribe being paid by a telecom company to Mr Raja in return for a mobile network license and spectrum. She has argued that she was not an active participant in the company. The CBI has refused this explanation in its chargesheet. In an interview to NDTV yesterday, Kanimozhi said that she is "prepared for the worst" and will respect the court's decision.
Mr Jethmalani said today, "The allegation is Swam Telecom paid a bribe to Kalaignar TV. Assuming for a moment that it was at Raja's instance that Swan paid Kalaignar TV, what is the offence committed here? She's just a shareholder in the company. Not even a majority shareholder. She just has a 20% equity. The CBI is trying to create prejudice against her." He stressed, "It's only the Board of Directors who control the company and they alone can be held for criminal liability." Mr Jethmalani passed the buck for the financial affairs of Kalaignar TV to its Managing Director, Sharath Kumar. Like Kanimozhi, Mr Kumar owns 20% of the channel and has been chargesheeted by the CBI.