The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought responses of former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others on the CBI plea which has challenged their acquittal by the special court in 2G spectrum case. The special court in its verdict on December 21 last year quashed the CBI case of alleged irregularities in the allocation of spectrum.
While issuing notices to Raja, Kanimozhi and others in the two cases, the court asked them to file their responses before the next date of hearing on May 25.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) too moved the high court against the trial court verdict. Along with the CBI, the ED case of money laundering by the accused for floating companies to procure spectrum licences was quashed by the trail court.
The High Court has issued notice in the same as well. It also allowed ED’s interim plea seeking to maintain status quo with regard to the properties worth around Rs 223 crore which the agency had attached in the money laundering case.
The ED did not want the properties to be released from attachment, a consequence of the acquittal in the money laundering case, saying that third party rights might be created in them.
Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, the special court had acquitted 17 others, including DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal, Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka of STPL, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd., film producer Karim Morani, P Amirtham and Director of Kalaignar TV Sharad Kumar in the ED case.
The ED, in its charge sheet, had alleged that Rs 200 crore was paid by Swan Telecom (P) Ltd (STPL) promoters to DMK-run Kalaignar TV.
The CBI had alleged a notional loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the top court on February 2, 2012.
In its verdict, special Judge O P Saini had held that the prosecution had “miserably failed” to prove the charges.
The special court, which was set up on March 14, 2011 for hearing 2G cases exclusively, had also acquitted Essar Group promoters Ravi Kant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia and six others in a separate case arising out of the 2G scam probe.
The first case, prosecuted by the CBI, had 17 accused, while the second matter, pursued by the ED, had 19 accused. The third one had eight accused including Essar promoters.
In the CBI case, Raja, Kanimozhi and 15 others were tried under provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, using as genuine fake documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.