A Delhi court on Wednesday granted bail to former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and 6 others who were chargesheeted by the the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a 2G scam-related money laundering case.
Earlier in the morning, Special CBI Judge O P Saini allowed the bail plea of 83-year-old Ammal on a personal bond of Rs five lakh with two sureties of the like amount.
The court, however, dismissed the plea of Ammal seeking discharge in the case on the ground that she was not well and was suffering from unsoundness of mind.
It asked Ammal’s counsel to furnish the bail bond within two days.
On August 6, the court had deferred for today its order on the bail pleas of Raja, Kanimozhi and others who were chargesheeted by the ED in this case.
ED had chargesheeted 19 accused — 10 individuals and nine firms — in the case saying 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”.
Ammal was holding 60 percent stake in Kalaignar TV while Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar were holding 20 percent stake each, the agency had said.
The agency had also claimed that its probe into the case emanates from 2G spectrum allocation scam and the accused had allegedly conspired and committed offences under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, ED had named Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, Ammal and P Amirtham as accused in the case.
The ED has also named Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, 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 as accused in the case.
During the arguments on the bail pleas, the ED had argued that the accused had committed the offence of money laundering punishable under the provisions of PMLA.
The defence counsel, however, had opposed the ED’s claims contending that the charge sheet filed by the probe agency was “contradictory” and the transfer of Rs 200 crore to Kalaignar TV was a “prudent business transaction”.
On the ED’s allegation that the reverse trail of Rs 200 crore from Kalaignar TV to the DB group company commenced after Raja was summoned by the CBI in December 2010 for interrogation in the 2G scam case, the defence counsel had argued that most of the money given to the TV channel was refunded before it.
Raja, Kanimozhi, Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Agarwal, Karim Morani and Sharad Kumar are also facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case in which the CBI had earlier filed charge sheets.