Newly elected DMK members of Parliament Kanimozhi and A Raja got notices from the Delhi High Court on a petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation seeking an early hearing of appeals filed against their acquittal along with others in the 2G spectrum allocation case by the trial court.
The two along with others were acquitted on December 21, 2017 and the CBI and the ED, in a related money laundering case, filed their appeals on March 19 last year. The high court had previously fixed the hearing for October 24.
The CBI moved the high court on Friday for early hearing. When the matter came up before Justice A K Chawla, he asked the CBI counsel, “What is the urgency now?”Central government standing counsel Ripu Daman Bhardwaj responded that the 2G case was of national importance, with international ramifications.
The High Court then issued notices to all the individuals and firms, acquitted in the case, and posted the CBI’s application for hearing on July 30.In December 2017, a Special CBI Court here had acquitted Raja, Kanimozhi and others in the CBI and Enforcement Directorate cases, noting that the prosecution had “miserably failed” to prove the charges.It had also acquitted 17 others, including late DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal.
The case was that Raja allocated 2G spectrums to several firms on a first come first served basis regardless of their qualification and they as quid pro quo invested Rs 200 crore in Kalaignar TV with which Kanimozhi as well as late DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal were associated.
Along with Raja and Kanimozhi his private secretary in the Telecom Ministry R K Chandola were also acquitted. Among the other acquitted were Vinod Goenka and film producer Karim Morani as well as Kalaignar TV officials P. Amirtham and Sharad Kumar.
The others cleared were Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Asif Balwa, director of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Rajiv Agarwal, and firms —Dynamic Realty, D B Realty Limited and Nihar Constructions Pvt Ltd.
Newly elected Congress MP Karti Chidambaram is already embroiled in the INX Media case. It has now been transferred to a special court in New Delhi dealing with MPs and MLAs. Special judge Arun Bharadwaj has posted it for hearing on June 7.
The case pertains to the alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance given to INX Media when Karti’s father P Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister.
The case of the CBI and the ED is that the Chidambarams got kickbacks from INX Media owners Peter and Indrani Mukherjea for foreign investment clearance.While Karti is already on bail, the anticipatory bail of P Chidambaram is pending before the Delhi High Court.