2G: Raja finally gets bail

The Special CBI Court set up in Delhi to try cases against those accused in the 2G spectrum today granted bail to former telecom minister Andimuthu Raja, the main person accused of selling radio spectrum arbitrarily at throwaway rates during his tenure in the Union cabinet.

At least 14 persons had been jailed in the wake of a Comptroller & Auditor General of India report that the government had lost about Rs1,76,000 crore ($32.5 billion) through the cheap and arbitrary sale of radio spectrum in 2008 when Raja was in the cabinet.

These included several senior executives of Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications and Kanimozhi, a Rajya Sabha MP and daughter of M Karunanidhi, the patriarch of DMK, which forms an important component of the UPA government at the centre.

All of them were eventually granted bail by various courts except Raja, who has spent over 15 months in Delhi's Tihar Jail.

Others granted bail recently were Siddhartha Behura, the telecom secretary under Raja, and his former private secretary R K Chandolia. They were the last to remain in jail as Raja awaited the outcome of their bail applications before filing his own.

Last week special court judge O P Saini had reserved his verdict on Raja's bail plea till today.