Jaswant first to speak out: Wrong to deny bail to Kanimozhi,Rajahttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/jaswant-first-to-speak-out-wrong-to-deny-bail-to-kanimozhi-raja/

Jaswant first to speak out: Wrong to deny bail to Kanimozhi,Raja

Jaswant Singh maintained that the views were personal and not that of the party.

In remarks certain to find DMK appreciation,senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh today questioned the rationale behind refusing bail and keeping in jail both A Raja and Kanimozhi who are accused in the 2G spectrum case.

Wondering how they could interfere in CBI investigations when the trial is already on,Singh,in an interview to CNN-IBN,expressed the view that they could be released on bail.

Although he maintained that the views were personal and not that of the party,his comments have raised eyebrows in political circles as they may be taken up by the DMK to build a case for the release of Kanimozhi and Raja.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi,who has already visited Delhi twice to meet his daughter in Tihar jail,has demonstrated his unhappiness with the Congress leadership by refusing to meet Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visits.

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While it is too early to read much into Singh’s comments,political circles do not rule out the possibility that they may be designed to widen the distance between the Congress and DMK leadership.

“Why should they be? And in what fashion are they interfering (with investigations)?” Singh said. “I personally feel,I am not a jurist or a lawyer by training or preference. But I feel that somebody has been charged and if that charge is not of a heinous nature like robbery,murder or any such thing and when the trial is on,then that somebody should not be kept in prison because you cannot permanently deny bail. Bail by itself is a citizen’s right unless he is charged with such a crime that it must not be permitted,” Singh said.

Told that there were people in the BJP who did not necessarily subscribe to his views,Singh maintained that he was speaking as an individual. “I am not speaking for the party. I don’t think the BJP has said that keep them permanently in jail. The BJP has said that punish the guilty,” he said.

Singh said that such actions would also affect investment,both internal as well as foreign,in the country as “cynicism would spread”. He pointed out that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself had referred to such a fallout in his interaction with newspaper editors this week.

Reacting to the comments,BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad pointed out that Singh had already stated that this was his individual opinion. “The matter should rest there,” he said.