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Jailhouse rock for the high and mighty

Tuesday December 20, 2011 08:02:14 PM, IANS

2011 in Retrospect

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New Delhi: The year 2011 saw the law finally catching up with the high and mighty, with many politicians, corporate honchos and bureaucrats being jailed on charges ranging from corruption to murder.

Here is a list of 10 prominent names:

-- A. Raja: The former communications minister was the first high profile arrest of the year. Held for alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum scam Feb 2, the DMK MP is still in Tihar Jail. His arrest led to 13 others, including corporate honchos like Shahid Balwa of DB Group and Unitech's Sanjay Chandra, and bureaucrats, landing behind bars, but they are now out on bail.

Apart from Raja, Kanimozhi was another politician named in the scam. The Rajya Sabha MP and daughter of former Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi was arrested May 20 and is now out on bail.

-- Suresh Kalmadi: The Lok Sabha MP and former Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee (OC) chief was arrested April 25 in connection with alleged irregularities in the contracts awarded for the 2010 mega event.

He was not alone. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested 25 other people as well. His arrest came after his two key aides Lalit Bhanot, who was the OC secretary general, and OC director general V.K. Verma were held Feb 23. All of them remain in jail.

-- Amar Singh: The Rajya Sabha MP and former Samajwadi Party leader was arrested Sep 6 for alleged involvement in the 2008 cash-for-votes scandal. After a Supreme Court rap for a shoddy probe, Delhi Police July 17 made their first arrest in the case, taking Amar Singh's secretary Sanjeev Saxena into custody.

Middleman Suhail Hindustani was arrested three days later. On Sep 6 two former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora, who are no longer MPs, were taken into custody.

Sudheendra Kulkarni, the media advisor to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was the sixth accused to be arrested in the case when he appeared before the court Sep 27. All of them have been granted bail. Samajwadi Party MP Rewati Raman Singh was also summoned, but the order was quashed.

-- Sukh Ram: The former telecom minister was awarded five years' imprisonment by a Delhi court in a 1996 corruption case Nov 19. He was arrested and taken to Tihar jail. The 86-year-old, who had held the telecom portfolio in P.V. Narasimha Rao's cabinet, was convicted in two corruption cases. To add to this, a man attacked the veteran politician from Himachal Pradesh minutes after his arrest was ordered by the court. On Nov 28, the Delhi High Court granted him bail.

-- B.S. Yeddyurappa: BJP's first chief minister in southern India was arrested Oct 15 in two graft and illegal land deal cases. He was in jail for 21 days. Giving him company was his cabinet colleague S.N. Krishnaiah Shetty, who has been released.

Yeddyurappa's ministerial colleague, mining baron and former tourism minister G. Janardhana Reddy is also in jail for illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh.

-- Mahipal Maderna: The sacked Rajasthan water resources minister was arrested by the CBI Dec 3 for the disappearance of nurse Bhanwari Devi, who allegedly features in a CD showing Maderna in a compromising position with her and went missing from Jodhpur Sep 1. He continues to be in CBI custody.

-- Hasan Ali Khan: The Pune stud-farm owner was arrested on allegations of money laundering, including for allegedly stashing away an astounding $8 billion (Rs.40,000 crore) abroad. His business associate Kashinath Tapuria was also nabbed.

-- R. Balakrishna Pillai: The 77-year-old seven-time legislator and veteran leader of the Kerala Congress (Pillai), which is an ally of the ruling alliance in Kerala, was sentenced to one year's imprisonment on corruption charges. But he walked free in November this year.

-- Koneru Prasad: The former chairman and chief mentor of Trimex group was arrested by the CBI in the Emaar Hills Township scam Nov 3 in Hyderabad. He was known as 'Dubai' Prasad for his immense clout in Dubai and other places in the Middle East, thanks to his Stylish Homes Real Estate Limited.

-- Sushanta Ghosh: The former Left Front minister and legislator was charged with murder in the Midnapore skeleton case Aug 11. Ghosh was arrested in connection with the recovery of skeletons near his house in West Midnapore district in June. He has been in custody since Aug 11.





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