The Central Bureau of Investigation searched the office of Kalaignar TV here for hours until dawn on Friday as part of its investigation into the 2G spectrum scam. The Tamil channel is housed in Anna Arivalayam, headquarters of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) at Teynampet.
Armed with a search warrant issued by a Delhi court, a special team of the CBI's Anti-Corruption Branch conducted the search.
During the seven-hour search, the CBI officials looked for documents pertaining to investments made by the promoters. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal and his daughter Kanimozhi, DMK Rajya Sabha member, are major shareholders in Kalaignar TV, sources in the investigating agency said.
The investigators looked for documents pertaining to the transfer of funds to the tune of Rs. 214 crore from Cineyug Films of Mumbai to Kalaignar TV a couple of years ago. Though the channel authorities denied any links with the 2G scam, the team made enquiries with Managing Director Sharad Kumar for about two hours, the sources said.
“The allegation is that Swan Telecom, promoted by Shahid Usman Balwa, who has been arrested in the case, facilitated transfer of funds to Kalaignar TV… since the channel had clarified that the money was taken as loan and later repaid with interest, we tried to find documents pertaining to that transaction,” a CBI official said.
Asked whether the team found any documents during the night-long search, the official said the focus was on the flow of funds to Kalaignar TV.
“We examined the papers relating to the formation of the channel and details of the investments made by different people since its inception,” he noted.
The channel said Cineyug paid advance money for purchasing shares in Kalaignar TV, but the deal failed because of differences over the valuation of the shares. Thereafter, the amount was treated as a loan and repaid with interest.
The CBI said it may question Ms. Kanimozhi and Mr. Sharad Kumar.
However, Ms. Kanimozhi said she had not received any communication as yet from the CBI.
Asked about the searches in the Kalaignar TV office, she said she was not aware of any such development.
Talking to journalists after participating in a meeting of the welfare board for differently-abled, she declined to answer a question on the impact the search would have on the seat-sharing talks between the DMK and the Congress.