New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has opposed Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) MP Kanimozhi's bail plea, claiming that she is the controlling mind behind Kalaignar TV. The CBI also pleaded in the court to send Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV CEO Sharad Kumar to judicial custody.
After a long argument by Special Public Prosecutor UU Lalit, who appeared for the CBI, Judge OP Saini reserved the hearing on bail plea of Kanimozhi and others till May 14. The court also asked Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar to appear before the court daily till May 14.
The court also dismissed her plea seeking exemption from personal appearance in connection with the case.
Earlier, Lalit argued in the Patiala House Court during the hearing in the 2G spectrum scam case that the 2G money trail leads to Kalaignar TV where Kanimozhi, the 43-year-old daughter of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, has a 20 per cent stake.
He argued that Kanimozhi was in fact the controlling mind behind Kalaignar TV and that it's impossible to believe someone from Karunanidhi's family won't control the channel. The public prosecutor also argued that Kanimozhi had been in regular touch with former telecom minister A Raja on launching of the channel.
Lalit also countered Kanimozhi's lawyer Ram Jethmalani's argument put forward on Friday that it was not Kanimozhi but Raja who was the one responsible for the scam.
"One director (Kanimozhi) with 20 per cent says she doesn't know anything. The other with 60 per cent (Dayalu Ammal) has already stated she was not involved. So who took the decisions then? Was it only the other 20 per cent (Sharad Kumar) who participated in the decisions? Sharad Kumar is a director and CEO of the company. Dayalu Ammal Karunanidhi was requested by board of Kalaignar TV to act as director. But she categorically informed the board that given age and health and non understanding of English, she will also attend board meetings only to fulfill the quorum. Why could Kanimozhi not be director? Only because of lack of an MHA clearance? In June 2007 along with other promoters incorporated Kalaignar TV, she had been in regular touch with A Raja on launching of channel. The accused was also initial director and only resigned because her clearance from MHA was pending. So that was the only reason. She was the controlling mind. Accused Raja was pursuing the case with Information and Broadcasting Ministry and getting the channel on Tata Sky. It is impossible to believe that someone from the family with a stake in the channel will not control the channel," argued Lalit.
"This lady was the controlling mind behind Kalaignar TV. One can't imagine Rs 200 crore would be ploughed back so soon without a guiding hand. We have established the proximity of the period and the money trail. A raja was definitely close to Kanimozhi, not so much to Sharad Kumar," claimed Lalit.
"Rs 47.51 crore is the turnover of Kalaignar TV. The fund infusion was four times. The paid up capital of Cineyug and Kusegaon is only Rs 1 lakh. They lent Rs 200 crore without even documentation. These transactions then are suspicious. Our case is that Shahid Balwa who is beneficiary paid Kalaignar TV the kickback. Spoils of the crime got transferred to Kalaignar TV. The bribe money got transferred to Kalaignar TV. The return trail when the heat is on is also in a pattern that is suggestive that the heat is on making it too difficult to handle," he said.
The Patiala House Court in New Delhi resumed the hearing on Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar's bail petition in the 2G spectrum scam case on Saturday. The DMK has indicated that it is ready to sacrifice Raja, who is the party's MP from Nilgiris seat, to Karunanidhi's daughter.
Kanimozhi mother Rajathiammal is also attending the court hearing.
But the big question still remains if Kanimozhi will be able to escape arrest in the scam? Kanimozhi, who reached the court at around 9:40 AM, refused to comment on the case.
"I really don't know. It's in the court. You have to wait till the court decides," she told the waiting reporters.
He started the argument claiming that money has been transferred from one entity to another with absolutely no collateral.
"There is clearly no collateral required when they are sharing the spoils of crime. Swan Telecom, an entity that was otherwise ineligible, was given the advantage. Swan is controlled by Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka. These two control another company Dynamix Realty," said Lalit.
He also explained how Swan got license and the alleged kickback for having got an undue benefit.
"The kickback money transferred to Dynamix was then transferred to Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables, which had a paid up capital is only Rs 1 lakh, and then to Cineyug. These were all shell companies, had nothing to with TV business. Dayalu Ammal (Karunanidhi's wife) is on record to say she does not participate in decision making. Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal were responsible for creating this money trail leading to Kalaignar TV," argued Lalit.
There had been a heated hearing in the case on Friday, where Kanimozhi's lawyer Ram Jethmalani claimed that Raja was the one who was responsible for the scam and said the 43-year-old daughter of Karunanidhi had no links with the scam even though the CBI has named her as one of the co-conspirators.
He also claimed that money transfer to DMK's Kalaignar TV have nothing to do with the 2G spectrum scam. The CBI has accused Kanimozhi of receiving kickbacks from the scam tainted telecom companies.
Raja was also present in the courtroom along with other corporate leaders who are in custody as Jethmalani recorded a caveat saying his arguments for Kanimozhi were being made without prejudice to the case of the other accused including Raja.
However, outside the court, DMK spokesman and MP TKS Elangovan sought to dismiss suggestions that Raja was being given up by the party.
"Jethmalani does not belong to DMK. He is defending Kanimozhi and Raja will be defended by his advocate. This is how the court proceedings work," he said.
However, Vijay Agarwal, lawyer for co-accused Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal, said that the CBI was adopting a "hostile" attitude against his clients while not arresting Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar who had allegedly received bribes.