Making star witnesses accused will botch up the case, says counsel

The Enforcement Directorate has made Selvi, daughter of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, a witness in its prosecution complaint against her mother Dayalu Ammal, step sister Kanimozhi, and former Telecom Minister A. Raja, among others accused of money laundering in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Ms. Selvi is one of the 30 persons named as witnesses by the ED in its complaint on the alleged laundering of the Rs.200-crore bribe paid by Shahid Balwa’s Swan Telecom to Kalaignar TV in lieu of illegal grant of Unified Access Services licence to the company, sources said.

Earlier, Ms. Selvi had moved the Supreme Court praying that Dayalu Ammal, a CBI witness in the 2G case, be exempted from appearing before the trial court on medical grounds.

The 4,256-page complaint running into 12 volumes also names Asservatham Achary, former additional private secretary to Mr. A. Raja, and A.K. Srivastava, a former Deputy Director General in the Department of Telecom, as witnesses.

According to sources, the ED has said its investigation is on and that it should be allowed to file a fresh complaint if it gets any further evidence. It has also sought confiscation of the proceeds of crime/ property of those involved in money laundering.

Besides Mr. Raja, Ms. Kanimozhi and Dayalu Ammal, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, managing director of DB Realty Vinod Goenka, promoters of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Cineyug Films director Karim Morani, Kalaignar TV director P. Amirtham and the channel’s MD and CEO Sharad Kumar have been named as accused by the ED.

Advocate Vijay Agarwal, counsel for the accused in the 2G case, said: “Dayalu Ammal and Amirtham were the star witnesses of the CBI in this case and now they have been made accused by the ED. This is going to botch up the entire case.”

The ED in its complaint said Mr. Raja was actively involved in receiving the illegal gratification of Rs.200 crore from Swan Telecom, which was finally parked with Kalaignar TV, and also in the refund of Rs.223.55 crore when the CBI started its probe in the matter. Dayalu Ammal, a promoter shareholder and director of Kalaignar TV, and Ms. Kanimozhi were involved in illegal parking of the bribe money. Amirtham, director of Kalaignar TV from May 2010 till date, utilised the money parked in the TV channel and refunded it, the agency said.

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