PMLA Case: Trial Begins, Court Records Statement of ED Officer

New Delhi
PMLA Case: Trial Begins, Court Records Statement of ED Officer

The trial in a 2G scam related money laundering case involving former Telecom Minster A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others today commenced before a special court which recorded statement of prosecution witness Himanshu Kumar Lal, Joint Director of Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Lal, who is also the complainant in the case, told Special CBI Judge O P Saini that he was given the charge of probing this case in January 2013, and there were three investigating officers (IO) who carried out the probe in the case.

"I was supervising this case. There were three IOs, ED's Deputy Director Rajeshwar Singh and ED's Assistant Directors Kamal Singh and Satyendra Singh," he said.

On being asked by special public prosecutor (SPP) Anand Grover as to what was his role in the investigation, Lal said his role was to see that the probe was being carried out as per the law.

He deposed before the court that he had gone through the FIR and charge sheets filed by CBI in 2G spectrum allocation case and had also read the statements recorded by the ED's IOs under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and other relevant documents before filing complaint in the case.

Recording of Lal's statement remained inconclusive and would continue on November 19, the next date of hearing.

Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, DMK supremo M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and 14 others, including nine companies, are facing trial in the case in which ED has named 30 persons as prosecution witnesses.

On October 31, the court had put on trial the 19 accused -- 10 individuals and nine companies -- under the provisions of PMLA after they had pleaded not guilty and said that they will face the trial for the charges against them.

The court had framed charges against the accused, saying that Raja allegedly in "connivance" with Kanimozhi, Dayalu Ammal and other co-accused was involved 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 up to seven years.

While framing charges against the accused, the court had observed there was enough material on record which made out a "prima facie" case against the accused who were chargesheeted by ED on April 25 for committing an offence punishable under PMLA.

This is the second case in the 2G spectrum allocation scam in which Raja, Kanimozhi and others, including Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka, are facing trial for their alleged roles in the scam.

The other co-accused in the case are 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".

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