Millennium Post

Court to pass order on bail pleas of Raja, others today

A special CBI court will decide on Wednesday give its verdict in the bail pleas of former telecom minister A Raja, DMK supremo Karunanidi’s daughter Kanimozhi and 16 others, who were booked by Enforcement Directorate (ED) for their alleged involvement in money laundering case related to 2G scam.

ED had chargesheeted a total of 19 accused (10 individuals and nine firms) in the case saying that the transaction of Rs 200 crore, which was allegedly paid to DMK-run Kalaignar TV, was not genuine and it was a bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies.

During the arguments on the bail pleas, ED had argued that the accused were guilty of money laundering, however, the defence counsels had claimed that the transfer of Rs 200 crore to Kalaignar TV was a ‘prudent business transaction’. Special CBI Judge OP Saini had reserved the order on 22 July for 6 August, after hearing the bail pleas of accused and the arguments advanced by ED.

However, on 6 August the matter was deferred to 20 August.

Apart from Raja and Kanimzohi, ED had also named Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal and P Amirtham as accused in the case.

82-year-old Ammal had earlier asked the court to scrap charges of laundering money against her, citing dementia that makes her incapable of defending herself. Currently, court has decided not to pass any order against her.

ED has alleged that Rs 200 crore was paid by Swan Telecom Private Ltd (STPL), using their group entity Dynamix Realty to DMK-run Kalaignar TV (KTV) through a circuitous route. In addition to the CBI chargesheet ED has charged two more individuals and eight more companies for the offence of money laundering under the provisions of section 3 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. Ammal had  60 per cent stake in Kalaignar TV while Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar each were holding 20 per cent stake.

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