ED allowed to drop Karunanidhi's daughter Selvi as witness
New Delhi: A special court on Tuesday allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to drop DMK chief M Karunanidhi's daughter S Selvi as a prosecution witness in a 2G scam-related money laundering case in which the trial is going on.
The court's order came after ED's special prosecutor NK Matta contended that the agency does not wish to examine Selvi and T Siva Subramanian as witnesses in the case.
Selvi and Subramanian, along with 28 others, were named as prosecution witnesses in the charge sheet filed by ED in the case against ex-Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others, including Selvi's mother Dayalu Ammal.
"It is further submitted by NK Matta, special PP that prosecution does not wish to examine S Selvi and T Siva Subramanian as witnesses in this case. Prayer allowed. Both of them are dropped from the list of witnesses to be examined," Special CBI Judge OP Saini said.
The court is in the process of recording statements of prosecution witnesses in the case in which it had framed charges against 19 accused -- 10 individuals and nine companies -- under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
During the day's hearing, the court recorded statement of ED's Assistant Director Kamal Singh which remained inconclusive and would continue tomorrow. On October 31 last year, the court had put on trial the 19 accused after they had pleaded not guilty and said that they will go on trial for the charges against them.
The court had framed charges against the accused, saying Raja connived with Kanimozhi, Dayalu Ammal and other co-accused in "parking" of illegal gratification of Rs 200 crore in DMK-run Kalaignar TV. If convicted, Raja and others will face a maximum sentence of upto seven years.
The court, while framing charges, had said there was enough material on record which made out a "prima facie" case against all the accused who were chargesheeted by ED on April 25 last year. This is the second case in the 2G spectrum allocation scam in which Raja, Kanimozhi and others, including Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, are facing trial for their alleged involvement in the scam.
Besides Raja, Kanimozhi and Dayalu, the other co-accused in the money laundering case are Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV (KTV) MD Sharad Kumar and its Director P Amirtham and Bollywood producer Karim Morani.
All of them are out on bail. The court had also framed charges against accused firms -- 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, DB Realty Ltd, Eversmile Construction Company Pvt Ltd, Conwood Constructions and Developers (P) Ltd, and Nihar Constructions Pvt Ltd. ED, in its charge sheet, had alleged that all the accused were involved in the Rs 200-crore money transaction which was "not bonafide" and it was a "bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies" by Raja.
The court, in its order framing charges against the accused, had said that entire amount to the tune of Rs 223.55 crore was in fact the "proceeds of crime". In the first case probed by CBI, Raja, Kanimozhi, Shahid Balwa, Goenka, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Agarwal, Morani and Sharad Kumar, along with nine others, are facing trial for criminal breach of trust, conspiracy, forgery, cheating and other offences punishable under the provisions of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.
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