Former Telecom Minister A Raja, MP Kanimozhi, DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal and 16 others were Friday put on trial in a 2G scam related case by a special court which observed that charges of money laundering are prima facie made out against all of them.
Special CBI Judge O P Saini framed charges under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under the provision of the Money Laundering Act against 19 accused, including 10 individuals and nine companies, who were charge sheeted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the case.
“All charges are prima facie made out against each accused for laundering of money of Rs 200 crore from DB Group company to Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd,” the judge said.
As soon as the court pronounced its order, the judge asked all the accused that whether they were pleading guilty to the offence or were claiming trial.
To this, all the accused said that they claim trial for the charges framed against them.
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”.
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.
Countering the allegations, 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 percent stake each in the TV channel while Dayalu Ammal was holding the rest 60 percent stake. All the individual accused in the case are presently out on bail.