New Delhi: Major trouble is in store for former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK leader Kanimozhi as a special court on Friday framed charges against them along with 17 others in connection with the 2G scam-related money laundering case. DMK chief M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal is also amongst the accused against whom charges have been framed under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and under provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act. All the 19 accused have plead not guilty and have sought trial in the case.
ED, in its charge sheet, had alleged that the accused were involved in the Rs 200-crore money transaction which was not "bonafide" and "genuine" and it was a "bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies" by Raja. The agency had claimed that the series of transactions relating to transfer of Rs 200 crore from DB group company to DMK-run Kalaignar TV through Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd and Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd were not "genuine business transaction". The accused, however, had countered the claims of the ED contending there was no evidence to support the allegations levelled by the agency in its charge sheet.
The counsel appearing for Raja and Kanimozhi had argued that documents filed along with the ED's complaint nowhere show that they were connected with Rs 200-crore transaction from DB group to Kalaignar TV. Similarly, other co-accused, including Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, had argued that there were no evidence to connect them with the alleged crime and its proceeds. According to ED, Kanimozhi and co-accused Sharad Kumar, MD of Kalaignar TV, were having 20 per cent stake each in the TV channel while Dayalu Ammal was holding the rest 60 per cent stake. All the individual accused in the case are presently out on bail.
In its charge sheet, ED had claimed that its probe into the case emanates from the 2G spectrum allocation scam and the accused had allegedly conspired and committed offences under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Besides Raja, Kanimozhi and Dayalu Ammal, the other accused in the case are Shahid Usman Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Sharad Kumar, Bollywood producer Karim Morani and P Amirtham.
ED has also named Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, Kusegaon Realty Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd), Cineyug Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd), Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, Dynamix Realty, Eversmile Construction Company Pvt Ltd, Conwood Constructions and Developers (P) Ltd, DB Realty Ltd and Nihar Constructions Pvt Ltd as accused in the case.
ED had alleged that its investigation has revealed that Rs 200 crore was paid to Kalaignar TV by Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka through Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd and Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd in the "garb of legitimate financial transactions i.e. as loan/share application money". The charge sheet claimed that Rs 200 crore, which was paid in return for illegal favours given to Swan Telecom for grant of UAS licence, was repaid with additional money to show that it was a legal transaction.