A vacation bench, comprising Justice BS Chauhan and Justice Swatanter Kumar, refused to grant immediate relief to petitioners – Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar – seeking bail in the 2G case. The court also asked CBI to explain about the status of . 200 crore which was allegedly paid to Kalaignar TV as part of what is known as the 2G scam money. “Where has . 200 crore gone.
It was not a legal transaction,” said Justice Swatanter Kumar. The court refused to grant relief to Kanimozhi and Kumar on the ground that they were not the recipient of the scam money. It asked petitioners’ counsels, Altaf Ahmed and Sushil Kumar, about the transactions of . 200 crore.
The SC also asked CBI to explain the physical status of such amount in a week. Justice Chauhan bracketed corruption cases with human rights violations. “It is the worst form of human rights violations,” he remarked. This was when counsels Ahmed and Kumar said that both the accused were not recipient of the scam money. The judges expressed unhappiness over CBI filing a supplementary chargesheet against Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar without zeroing in on such transactions.
“The whereabouts of Rs 200 crore must have preceded the filing of the chargesheet ,” said Justice Kumar. CBI chargesheet has alleged that Kanimozhi has made Rs 200 crore through Kalaignar TV, as bribe money. However, according to Kalaignar TV, it had received Rs 214 crore as unsecured loan from Karim Morani’s controlled Cineyug Media and Entertainment.
The Rs 200 crore had allegedly come through a circuitous route of Sahid Balwa promoted DB Realty , according to CBI. Kanimozhi and Kumar both have 20% stake each in Kalaignar TV. The judges asked the agency why the accused were not interrogated in the case. They directed CBI to explain to it about two other things besides the physical status of Rs 200 crore.
The bench wanted to know the quantum of loss caused to the exchequer in the process of grant of Unified Access Licences for 2G spectrum during the tenure of A Raja as telecom minister and the status of the trial in the case before the special court presided over by judge OP Saini. CBI counsel Sonia Mathur informed the bench that the trial court will resume its day-to-day hearing in the case from July 4.
She also told that the charges were yet to be framed in 2G case by the special court. The SC bench directed CBI to file its reply and would hear the bail plea on June 20. The HC had dismissed the bail pleas of Kanimozhi and Kumar, saying they have strong political connections and the possibility of them influencing witnesses could not be ruled out.
Kanimozhi and Kumar, named as accused in the second chargesheet for allegedly taking bribe of Rs 200 crore, were arrested on May 20 after the special trial court dismissed their bail pleas in the 2G case.
DMK Nervous as Amma Comes calling
As Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa arrived in the National Capital, after a thumping victory in the assembly elections, nervousness within DMK is palpable and rituals of political courtship are afoot in Delhi.
With the ties between the DMK and Congress at an all-time low – party chief Karunanidhi’s parliamentarian daughter is in judicial custory – Jayalalithaa’s visit to the Capital has assumed greater significance. A seasoned player of political bluff, the Tamil Nadu CM is holding her cards close to her chest and not giving away whether her visit has a political agenda.
Jayalalithaa met BJP general secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad and Congress’ Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit . She also met CPI’s D Raja. The CM hosted Tamil Nadu cadre officers of the All India Services serving in Delhi. On Tuesday morning, she is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and hold a press conference later.
Ravi Shankar Prasad later said he congratulated her on her victory, “which brings new hope and strengthens democracy” . Though Prasad, whose association with the AIADMK supremo goes back to 2003, when he was the I&B Minister, described it as a courtesy call, the political undercurrents cannot be ignored.
AIADMK, an old ally, is among the parties BJP is trying to rope in to expand the NDA, a goal it has set itself in the run-up to 2014 LS polls. Jayalalithaa had turned her back on the party last year and aligned with the Left.