Justice Ajit Bharihoke of the Delhi High Court, while rejecting bail to DMK MP Kanimozhi, said on Wednesday that the CBI probe into the 2G spectrum case revealed that she had close association with the accused and former Communications Minister, A. Raja, and was an active brain behind the operations of Kalaignar TV.
The judge said: “In June 2007, accused Ms. Kanimozhi (A-17), along with other promoters, incorporated Kalaignar TV after they left the Sun TV Network. She had also been in regular touch with Raja (A-1) regarding launching of Kalaignar TV channels and other pending works of Kalaignar TV.”
Ms. Kanimozhi “was also an initial director of the company and she resigned only for the reason that her clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs was pending and could take time and delay the matter of launching the Kalaignar TV channels. Raja was further pursuing the cause of Kalaignar TV not only for getting registration of the company from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry but also for getting it in the Tata Sky bouquet.”
The judge quoted the witness statement of Ashirvadam Achary (former Additional Private Secretary in the Telecom Ministry) and said: “Investigation has also revealed that Ms. Kanimozhi was a stakeholder of Kalaignar TV to the tune of 20 per cent equity and was an active brain behind its operations. She was also widely covered by the Kalaignar Seithigal [News] channel. She also actively pursued [the matter] with the intermediaries and the DMK headquarters.”
On the role of another accused, Sharad Kumar (A-16), the judge said he was a promoter and director or Kalaignar TV and stakeholder of the company to the tune of 20 per cent. “Sharad Kumar has attended/ chaired all the board meetings wherein the decisions regarding the aforesaid transactions [involving Rs. 200 crore] were taken. He has also signed all the agreements purportedly signed with Cineyug Films and other relevant documents in this regard, not only on behalf of the company but also on behalf of himself and other directors/shareholders of the company. He had also been visiting accused A. Raja in connection with pursuing various pending works relating to Kalaignar TV and this would show his association with A. Raja.”
Investigation also revealed that accused Karim Morani, Asif Balwa and Rajiv B. Agarwal had arranged these funds from Dynamix Realty, a partnership firm of the DB group companies managed and controlled by Shahid Balwa (A-4) and Vinod Goenka (A-5), and facilitated their dubious transfer to Kalaignar TV, the judge noted.
Justice Ajit Bharihoke observed: “Investigation has also revealed that when accused A Raja (A-1) was contacted by the CBI for his examination scheduled on December 24, 2010, Kalaignar TV started refunding the amount of Rs. 200 crores to Dynamix Realty, through Cineyug Films and Kusegaon Fruits & Vegetables Pvt. Ltd. A substantial part of the amount was refunded by it just before and after February 2, 2011, when accused A. Raja (A-1) was arrested by the CBI.”
On the submission that the amount received was only a loan and not a bribe, the judge said investigation revealed that for all the aforesaid transactions, between Dynamix Realty, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd., Cineyug Films and Kalaignar TV, claimed to be in nature of loan, no valid agreement was signed between any of the parties and no collaterals/securities were ensured to secure the alleged loan amounts.
‘No merit in contention’
On the plea that the petitioners (Ms. Kanimozhi and Mr. Sharad Kumar) could not be remanded in judicial custody as they had appeared in response to summons and were not in custody, the judge said “I do not find any merit in this contention.”
“Anybody within the control of the court is said to be in custody. It is obvious that the moment a person accused of a non-bailable offence appears in the court pursuant to the summons, he/she is within the control of the court till his/her bail application is decided. The moment their request was rejected, their physical custody automatically vested with the court. As such, the order of the Special Judge remanding the petitioners in judicial custody while adjourning the matter under Section 309 Cr.PC cannot be faulted.” Hindu