A Delhi court today reserved its order for May 2 on the issue of taking cognisance of the Enforcement Directorate's charge sheet against former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and 17 others in connection with a money laundering case relating to the 2G scam.
Special CBI Judge OP Saini reserved the order after hearing arguments advanced by ED in which the agency said that prima facie a case of money laundering was made out against the accused -- 10 individuals and nine companies. The ED prosecutor told the court that their investigation in the case emanates from the 2G scam and the accused persons allegedly conspired and committed the scheduled offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The prosecutor claimed that the transaction of Rs 200 crore, which was allegedly paid to DMK-run Kalaignar TV, was "not genuine" and it was a "bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies".
On the alleged role of Raja, ED said, being the telecom minister, he was having the principal role in allotment of licences and he "assisted" in the offence of money laundering. It said that DMK supremo M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, who has also been chargesheeted as an accused, was holding 60 per cent shares in Kalaignar TV whereas co-accused Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar were having a stake of 20 per cent share each.
ED also alleged that there was a "reverse trail" of money from Kalaignar TV to Dynamix Realty through Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd (CFPL) and Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd (KFVPL). It said the accused attempted to show that these transactions were genuine but surprisingly the reverse trail of money started when Raja was called by CBI for questioning in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation case.
"By the time it was speculated that Raja may be arrested, reverse trail of money started," it said, adding, "Prima facie this transaction shows trail of money by subsequent beneficiaries...." "If Raja was not summoned by CBI or a case was not being lodged, perhaps the money could have never come back," it said, adding their investigation in the case was still going on.
ED had filed its charge sheet on April 25 in connection with the money laundering case relating to the 2G scam. Apart from Raja, Kanimozhi and Dayalu Ammal, ED also named promoters of Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka as accused in the case. Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, P Amirtham and Kalaignar TV Managing Director Sharad Kumar have also been named as accused in the case.
ED also named as accused STPL, Kusegaon Realty Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd), Cineyug Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd), Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, Dynamix Realty, Eversmile Construction Company Pvt Ltd, Conwood Constructions and Developers (P) Ltd, DB Realty Ltd and Nihar Constructions Pvt Ltd.
In its charge sheet, ED has said its investigation has revealed that the amount of Rs 200 crore was paid to Kalaignar TV by STPL in the "garb of legitimate financial transactions i.e. as loan/share application money".
It has said in the garb of loan it was in fact the illegal gratification which was apparently projected as "untainted property". "Besides the reverse flow of such amount further establishes the projection of proceeds of crime as untainted and is nothing but the process of laundering of money," it has said. "It will not be out of place to mention here that the entire amount as stated earlier to the tune of Rs 223.55 crore was in fact proceeds of crime and has already been attached by way of provisional attachment order dated August 30, 2011 issued under section 5 (1) of PMLA which has been subsequently confirmed by the adjudicating authority on January 10, 2012 in terms of section 8 (3) of the PMLA," the charge sheet has said.