ED charges Raja, Kanimozhi with money-laundering

Dayalu also in 2G complaint

Updated - November 16, 2021 11:54 pm IST

Published - April 25, 2014 10:55 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

A file photo of former Telecom Minister A. Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi. Photo: D. Radhakrishnan

A file photo of former Telecom Minister A. Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi. Photo: D. Radhakrishnan

The Enforcement Directorate on Friday filed a “prosecution complaint” before a Delhi court against the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP K. Kanimozhi and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, among others, for money laundering in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

The complaint, which names a total of 19 accused, including nine companies, was filed before Special CBI judge O.P. Saini, who fixed it for consideration on April 30. All the 19 accused have been charged with money laundering under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which is punishable with a maximum jail term of seven years.

The ED has alleged that Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd paid a bribe of Rs. 200 crore to Kalaignar TV in lieu of illegal grant of Unified Access Service (UAS) licence to the company. The complaint comes at a time when the court has completed recording the statements of all witnesses in the CBI case.

Reacting to the development, Mr. Raja said, “It is nothing but old wine in a new bottle.” Talking to The Hindu over phone, the former Telecom Minister said there were no new findings in the ED’s complaint and it was being filed just to support the CBI’s case.

He pointed out that the CBI had already observed that the Kalaignar TV transactions per se were not illegal and hence the ED’s complaint is not “legally sustainable.”

According to the ED, “[an] amount of Rs. 200 crore was paid by promoters of Swan Telecom using their group entity Dynamix Realty to Kalaignar TV through Kusegaon Fruits and Cineyug Films in the garb of legitimate financial transactions as loan/share application money. Whereas, in fact, this payment was illegal gratification for and on behalf of A. Raja and his associates in lieu of illegal favours given to Swan Telecom for grant of UAS licence.”

“Investigation has further revealed that the return of Rs. 200 crore has been done along with an additional amount in order to show this illegal payment in the guise of legal and bona fide financial transactions. Thus, in the garb of loan, it was, in fact, the illegal gratification, which was apparently projected as untainted money,” the ED said.

The others accused in the charge sheet are 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 and 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.

The nine companies, which have also been charge sheeted by the directorate, include Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB Pvt Ltd), Kusegaon Realty Pvt Ltd, Cineyug Media & Entertainment Pvt Ltd, Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, Dynamix Realty, Eversmile Construction Company Pvt Ltd, Conwood Construction & Developers Pvt Ltd, DB Realty and Nihar Constructions Pvt Ltd.

(With additional reporting by D.Radhakrishnan in Udhagamandalam)

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