The judge made a distinction between the powers enjoyed by the suspended Indian Economic Service officer, former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura, and Mr. Raja, stating Mr. Chandolia’s case could not be “equated with” these two co-accused, who are now the only persons left in judicial custody in the case.
“There are no allegations that the applicant/accused himself accepted any bribe. Charges have already been framed and the evidence of the prosecution is being recorded. Moreover, charges have been framed against the accused only for conspiracy and criminal misconduct.”
Chandolia was only private secretary to the then Minister and did not any independent powers of his own. “A. Raja was the political head of the Department of Telecommunications, whereas Siddhartha Behura was its administrative head. As such, with due respect, his [Chandolia’s] case cannot be equated with these two accused,” Mr. Saini wrote in his order.
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