Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kanimozhi likely to be charged in 2G scam

New Delhi: Tamil Nadu chief minister K Karunanidhi’s daughter and DMK MP Kanimozhi is likely to be chargesheeted by the CBI for criminal conspiracy under section 120B of Indian Penal Code in the 2G spectrum scam.
Top sources told TOI that the charge against Kanimozhi related to the Rs 214-crore investment made by a subsidiary of DB Realty in Kalaignar TV in 2009-10. They said the money originated from Kusegaon Realty, went to Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd and then to Kalaignar TV.
Senior advocate K K Venugopal told a Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly, that both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate have investigated whether the Rs 214-crore investment in Kalaignar TV by a DB Realty arm was a loan or a quid-pro-quo for getting spectrum in conspiracy with the then telecom minister A Raja. “Once the Rs 214-crore investment came into public knowledge, there was an excuse given that it was a valid loan transaction which fell through. But, the resolution was passed much later,” Venugopal said.
The key accused in the scam, Raja, will face charges under Prevention of Corruption Act as well under IPC for conspiracy and forgery charges in addition to the charge of masterminding the irregular allotment of spectrum, thereby, causing losses to the exchequer running into thousands of crores. The CBI’s first chargesheet, to be filed on April 2 before a special court set up on Tuesday to deal exclusively with the 2G scam trial, will be against five persons and two companies. The agencies will corroborate their charges with documents running into over 80,000 pages. Raja and his former personal secretary R K Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura and DB Realty chief Shahid Balwa have already been arrested and it is almost certain that these four will be charged in the scam on April 2.

CBI arrests Balwa’s brother:

The CBI on Tuesday arrested two more persons — Asif Balwa and Rajeev B Agarwal — for alleged involvement in money transfer to DMK’s Kalaignar TV channel in connection with the 2G spectrum case. The two were summoned from Mumbai and arrested in the national capital on Tuesday after they allegedly did not cooperate with the CBI during questioning, agency sources said. PTI

Videocon’s foreign ops under ED scanner

New Delhi: Etisalat paid Rs 106.95 crore to Dynamix Balwas Group (DB realty) chief Sahid Balwa to get a single share which gave it the management control of Swan Telcom — a company that has been accused of cornering spectrum in conspiracy with then telecom minister A Raja.
K K Venugopal, appearing for the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED), informed the Supreme Court that this enormous premium was paid for this “golden share” when the face value of each Swan share was Rs 3 and its market price was Rs 270.
The ED has found violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the acquisition of majority stake in Swan by Etisalat, and will launch adjudication proceedings as well as attachment of properties once the CBI files its chargesheet against the accused persons on April 2, Venugopal said.
The agencies suspect similar deals have been struck by other companies which are under scanner for obtaining spectrum irregularly. The modus operandi, suspected by ED and narrated in its status report, was that once a favour was obtained in India, the quid-proquo was given in terms of shares in companies having operation in foreign countries.
“A joint team of the CBI and ED will be visiting foreign countries to get details of such transactions and operations, the first stop being Mauritius,” Venugopal said.
The Videocon group, which owns 353 companies, including 33 based in countries like Cyprus, Isle of Man, Dubai, Lybia and Mauritius, is under scanner. The ED is getting the details of these companies and the list of directors of the foreignbased sister concerns of Videocon, the court was told.
Letters to seek information from Malaysia, Dubai and USA have been sent, Venugopal said, adding, the letters have a flip side as the accused could move the courts in foreign countries to resist transmission of proof to Indian agencies.
“We have sought assistance from countries under an international agreement by which all money transactions were to be shared with the inquiring country,” the counsel said.

Swan, Loop used as front firms: CBI to SC

New Delhi: The CBI on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that telecom companies — Swan Telecom and Loop Telecom — were used as front companies by the Reliance Group (ADAG) and Essar respectively to get 2G spectrum illegally during the tenure of former telecom minister A Raja. The agency, which filed a status report before a bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly, said Raja will face charges of “cheating, forgery, and corruption”. Essar already has stakes in Vodafone. Swam Telecom’s promoter Shahid Usman Balwa has been arrested by the CBI and ADAG firm RCom’s chairman Anil Ambani has also appeared before the agency in connection with the 2G spectrum scam. The CBI submitted before the court that Swan and Loop hid the details about their companies to get spectrum. PTI

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