The CBI on Monday chargesheeted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's daughter and Rajya Sabha member M.K. Kanimozhi along with four others for criminal conspiracy and receiving illegal gratification in the 2G spectrum case.
Ms. Kanimozhi, a 20 per cent stakeholder in Kalaignar TV Pvt. Ltd., is the second DMK politician to be chargesheeted by the CBI after the former Union Telecom Minister, A. Raja. The others who figured in the supplementary charge sheet filed in a special court here are Kalaignar TV director and 20 per cent equity holder Sharad Kumar, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal, the directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables, and Cineyug Films director Karim Morani.
The five accused, along with Mr. Raja and DB Realty co-owners Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka, have been indicted for alleged involvement in the transfer of Rs. 200 crore from the DB Realty group to Kalaignar TV between December 2008 and August 2009 by “following a circuitous route” for transferring money through Dynamix Realty, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Ltd. and Cineyug Films.
Taking cognisance, Special Judge O.P. Saini, in his order, said he was “satisfied that there was enough incriminating material on record to proceed against the accused persons.” He issued summons to Ms. Kanimozhi, Mr. Sharad Kumar and Mr. Morani to appear before the court on May 6. Production warrants were also issued for Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal for Tuesday (April 26).
Various business dealings between DB Realty and Green House Promoters, owned by Mr. Raja's close aide, Sadiq Batcha, who was recently found dead under mysterious circumstances in Chennai, also find mention in the charge sheet.
The charge sheet noted that the transactions between DB Realty and Kalaignar TV began on December 23, 2008, a week after Swan Telecom received Rs.3,228 crore from Etisalat Mauritius and Rs. 381 crore from Genex Exim Ventures on December 17, 2008, through the offloading of 45 per cent shares in Swan Telecom.
As for the 60 per cent stakeholder in Kalaignar TV, Mr. Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, the CBI said the minutes of a Kalaignar TV Board meeting dated July 27, 2007, had come to its attention in which she stated that “she could not be expected to give any attention to the company's affairs” in view of her “old age and deteriorating health.” Her name now figures in the list of witnesses furnished by the agency.
The charges against the accused persons include Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code read with Section 7 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) of the Prevention of Corruption (PoC) Act. Alternatively, Section 120B read with Section 11 (public servant accepting bribe from persons concerned in the business being transacted by such public servant), and Section 12 (abetment of Section 7, 11 offences) of the PoC Act have also been imposed.
The first charge sheet in the case was filed on April 2 in which nine persons and three companies were named. On Monday, counsel for Mr. Raja opposed the filing of the supplementary charge sheet without giving a copy of it to the other accused.
CBI Senior Public Prosecutor A.K. Singh rebutted the defence submission noting that Section 173 (8) of the Criminal Procedure Code entitled the CBI to further investigation and that filing the supplementary charge sheet was an exercise of the Cr.PC provision in which the accused can have no say.