Special Judge Om Prakash Saini, who heard the 2G cases, began his career as a sub-inspector in Delhi Police. As additional sessions judge, Saini had delivered the verdict in the 2000 Red Fort terror attack case, handing out death sentence to Mohammad Arif and varying jail terms to others.Terrorists had killed three Army personnel at an Army camp in Red Fort in 2000.
Sources said that in 1991 Saini, who comes from Haryana, was the only candidate to clear Delhi Judicial Service Examination. He had served Delhi Police for six years before that.
After the Red Fort judgment, Saini, now 58, was given Y-category security cover. For the last six years, his court only dealt with the 2G spectrum allocation cases.
Before handling 2G cases, Saini had heard the 2010 Commonwealth Games case, among other high-profile cases.
He ordered imprisonment of Suresh Kalmadi’s aides Lalit Bhanot, V K Verma and K U K Reddy, among others. He has also heard the case involving a bribery scam in National Aluminium Company Limited.
While hearing the 2G cases, Saini was known to be strict about the procedure of trial. For instance, Essar promoter Anshuman Ruia in June 2015 was pulled up by Saini for not mentioning in an application the names of the countries he planned to travel to. He said Ruia was “wasting” the court’s time.
In another instance, he hauled up the CBI for “withholding documents and prolonging proceedings” by repeatedly seeking time to submit more information. He observed that if the proceedings continued in this way, then “people would lose faith in the judiciary”.
In November 2011, K Kanimozhi — the DMK MP was among those acquitted of charges today — had applied for bail on the grounds that she was a woman and had been in jail for several months already. Saini dismissed the plea, saying she was an influential politician and the court could not risk a witness getting intimidated.