New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday asked the CBI to respond to DMK-run Kalaignar TV Managing Director Sharad Kumar's plea for quashing of criminal charges against him in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
"Issue notice to the CBI for May 10," Justice M L Mehta said, taking note of Sharad Kumar's petition. He is facing trial in the 2G case along with Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, former Telecom Minister A Raja and 14 others.
Senior advocate Sushil Kumar, appearing for the Kalaignar TV MD, however, did not press for a decision on his interim plea for staying the trial till his petition against framing of charges is decided.
Justice Mehta then decided to hear tomorrow Sharad Kumar's plea along with similar petitions filed for other co-accused including Kanimozhi.
Special CBI judge O P Saini, earlier on October 22 last year, had framed charges against Raja and 16 others for various offences including criminal breach of trust by public servants that entails a maximum punishment of life term.
Sharad, Kanimozhi, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables were made accused in the second charge sheet in the case.
The CBI, in its charge sheet, had alleged that Rs 200 crore bribe was paid to Kalaignar TV in lieu of grant of UAS licenses to coaccused Shahid Usman Balwa-promoted Swan Telecom through various firms and accused Kumar played a role in the alleged routing of the pay off.
All the accused have been charged under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, getting bribe and criminal misconduct by public servant.
Earlier, 44-year DMK MP Kanimozhi had moved the court for quashing of the charges against her in the case saying she has been "implicated".
Kanimozhi had claimed she was not aware of the events between October 2007 to January 2008 and said "in absence of such knowledge it is unthinkable that the petitioner had agreed to be part of conspiracy."
She further said that there was no allegation that the alleged bribe reached her or in any manner benefited her.
It said the order of trial court framing charges under Sections 120B/409 was unfounded as the decision not to auction 2G spectrum is based on TRAI's recommendation and she has nothing to do with the same.
The trial court, in its order, however had said that Kanimozhi was "an active brain" behind the operation Kalaignar TV and was "in regular touch" with Raja to serve the cause of party-run TV.