CBI's allegations "silly", says Kalinagar TV CEO

CBI's allegations New Delhi: Sharad Kumar, CEO and MD of DMK-run Kalaignar TV, today told a Delhi court that CBI's allegations were "silly" and and based on assumptions as the so-called bribe of Rs 200 crore to the channel was inter-corporate deposits (ICD) which had no connection with 2G spectrum allocation.
 
Senior advocate and former Additional Solicitor General Altaf Ahmad, appearing for Kumar, told Special CBI Judge O P Saini that the agency "has not done its home work well" and was making allegations based on "assumptions".
 
"Someone (CBI) says that with so less paid-up capital (of Kalaignar Tv), how did a private person give you (Kalaignar TV) Rs 200 crore? Earlier a nationalized bank gave us Rs 100 crore when our paid-up capital was even less, only Rs 5 crore.
 
"It is silly and illiterate to make such allegations. Paid-up capital has nothing to do with it," Ahmad said.
 
"They (CBI) want to see every thing from the prism of this FIR. Our record is coherent and consistent. We have banking records, ICD agreements, share subscription agreements and a huge body of documents," he said.

Seeking discharge from the case, the counsel of Sharad Kumar, who holds 20 percent stakes in the channel, said there was much time gap between the spectrum allocation and the alleged bribe.
 
CBI has alleged Kumar was looking after day-to-day affairs of Kalaignar TV in which DMK supremo M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, his daughter Kanimozhi also hold 60 and 20 percent stakes respectively.
 
CBI, in second charge sheet in the case, named Kumar and Kanimozhi as accused saying that in return for spectrum allocation by former Telecom Minister A Raja, the bribe was received by them as gratification from Shahid Usman Balwa's D B Group companies through a circuitous route.

The defence counsel rejected the allegations that the channel started paying back the bribe after CBI questioned Raja for the first time in December last year.
 
Rubbishing the allegation, Ahmed said "there was much time gap between spectrum allocation and the alleged bribe and ICD's much later after license allocation".
 
He argued CBI was trying to connect two different events (questioning of Raja and alleged commercial deals of the channel) which have nothing to do with each other and the return of the money was only after the share subscription deal with Cineyug Films (of Karim Morani) fell apart.
 
"Apart from (CBI investigation) the people (accused) were also doing their normal business. The demand raised for return of money was six months prior to Raja's questioning.
This return was as per the two years time in ICD agreement. It has nothing to do with the great work of CBI...Saying this (return of money) coincides with Raja's questioning is utterly silly," he said.

Ahmad referred to Kalaignar Tv's share-subscription agreement with Cineyug Films through which it (KTv) received the money.
 
"There is cynical criticism of everything by CBI. They say the transaction has no valid agreements and no collateral securities. How can they say so? It is falsehood," he said.
 
On CBI's allegation as to why the Rs 200 crore was shown as liability in the account books of the channel, Ahmad said as per the agreement, initially, the money was to be treated as a loan advanced at 10 percent interest rate.
 
It (transfer of money) could have been treated as the money paid towards the share-subscription deal by Cineyug after KTv's evaluation report then being undertaken by Grant Thornton, an evaluating agency, the defence lawyer said.

PTI