Former Telecom Minister A Raja, an accused in a 2G scam-related money laundering case, today told a special court that he was not involved in the Rs 200 crore transaction, which as per the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was a bribe given to DMK-run Kalaignar TV by DB Group company.
Arguing on the bail application filed by Raja as well as on framing of charges in the case, advocate Manu Sharma, who appeared for him, said the DMK leader was earlier granted bail in the CBI's 2G spectrum allocation case and he has been attending court proceedings keeping aside his political commitments.
"I (Raja) am facing trial in a separate (CBI's) case in 2G spectrum allocation case. I was granted bail in that case and my conduct has been good and I am attending court proceedings by putting my political commitments on the back burner," Raja's counsel told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.
His counsel also contended that there was no evidence in the case and it was a "mere coincidence" that he was a member of the DMK and his party had planned to start Kalaignar TV.
"How the prosecution (ED) can say that I have knowledge of transaction taking place back and forth. How do I know this transaction. How am I actually involved," he said, adding, "It is an unhappy coincidence that I belong to that party (DMK)."
ED had filed a charge sheet against 19 accused, including Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, claiming that the transaction of Rs 200 crore, which was allegedly paid to Kalaignar TV, was not genuine" and it was a "bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies".
During the hearing, Raja's counsel argued that his client has been allowed to depose as a witness to defend himself in the CBI case and if he would be taken into custody, "the whole process of being examined as defence witness will be disrupted."
During the proceedings, the court also heard arguments advanced by the lawyers representing some of the co-accused in the case.
After the arguments advanced by defence counsel on bail pleas filed by the accused and framing of charges, special public prosecutor U U Lalit told the judge that he would respond to the arguments on the bail applications first.
Lalit's arguments, during which he advanced submissions regarding some of the legal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), remained inconclusive and would continue tomorrow.
ED had chargesheeted 19 accused -- 10 individuals and nine firms -- in the case.
Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, DMK supremo M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal and P Amirtham have been named as accused in the ED's charge sheet.
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.
ED had earlier told the court that their probe into the case emanates from the 2G scam and these accused had allegedly conspired and committed offences under PMLA.
How about 199.99 crores?