Framing of charges against her in 2G case challenged

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation on a petition by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi challenging the framing of charges against her in the 2G allocation case.

Issuing the notice, Justice M.L. Mehta asked the investigating agency to file a reply to the plea of Ms. Kanimozhi by May 10, the next date of hearing.

Challenging the conspiracy charge against her, Ms. Kanimozhi submitted that the impugned order of the trial court framing charges against her was based on a completely wrong and misplaced understanding of the law of conspiracy.

She stated that there was not even an allegation that a single penny of the alleged bribe money had gone towards the personal account of the petitioner or had in any manner benefited her on a personal level.

As per the investigating agency, the alleged bribe money had been paid to Kalaignar TV between December 2008 and August 2009. During this phase, the status of the petitioner was only that of a shareholder of 20 per cent equity of the company and nothing more, the petition stated. She further submitted that she had not taken part in any of the board meetings wherein decisions with respect to the alleged transaction were taken. Neither had she signed any of the agreements or documents pertaining to the same, the petition stated.

The special judge has committed a grave error in law in framing charges of 120B/420 Indian Penal Code against the petitioner, as first, the decision not to auction 2G spectrum was based upon the TRAI recommendations dated August 28, 2007. And secondly, there was no evidence on record that the petitioner had anything to do with it, the petition stated.

Framing the charges against all the 17 accused persons, including Ms. Kanimozhi, in October last year, Special Judge O.P. Saini said: “…you all committed an offence punishable under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 7 or in the alternative Section 11 read with (r/w) Section 12 and 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.”

Ms. Kanimozhi, along with 16 other accused, is facing trial in the case in a special court set up for this case at the Patiala House district courts here. Several other accused, including three top executives of Reliance Telecom, have also approached the court for quashing charges against them in the case.

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