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Court seeks ED’s response in 2G money-laundering case

Court seeks ED’s response in 2G money-laundering case
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Special CBI Judge O P Saini issued notice to the ED and sought its reply by March 16 on the pleas of the four accused companies -- DB Realty, Nihar Construction Pvt Ltd, Conwood Construction and Developers Pvt Ltd and Eversmile Construction Co Pvt Ltd.

These firms are facing trial in the case along with 15 other accused, including former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi.

The four companies, through their counsel Vijay Aggarwal, had filed the applications saying there was no evidence that they were involved in any money transaction.

The firms, in their pleas, had contended that no evidence against them had emerged in the examination of prosecution witnesses, including officials of the ED.

Aggarwal had contended that in the money laundering case, records and evidences showed that there were no links between “assets of the applicant” and the so-called “proceeds of crime”.

The court had on Wednesday supplied a questionnaire of 400 queries to all the 19 accused for recording of their statements in the case, which will commence from March 16. On October 31 last year, the court had framed charges under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under the provision of the Prevention Money Laundering Act against the accused, including Raja, Kanimozhi, DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal among others, and nine companies.

The Enforcement Directorate (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 transactions”.

Besides Raja, Kanimozhi and Dayalu Ammal, the other accused in the case are Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Bollywood producer Karim Morani and P Amirtham. They all are out on bail.

The 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.
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