Kanimozhi, brain behind Kalaignar TV: CBI to court

A special court reserved the bail plea of DMK MP Kanimozhi in the 2G scam for May 14.

Updated: May 08, 2011, 00:41 AM IST

New Delhi: A day after DMK MP Kanimozhi sought to put the blame for the telecom licence scandal on her party colleague A Raja, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Saturday told a special court that she was indeed "close" to the former telecom minister and is the "mastermind behind the Kalignar TV" where the payoffs are alleged to have been routed.

Arguing before Special CBI judge OP Saini, public prosecutor UU Lalit said: "Kanimozhi was in constant touch with Raja. She was the brain behind Kalaignar. One cannot imagine that Rs 200 crore would be clouded so easily unless and until there was some riding hand behind it."

"Sharad Kumar (managing director of Kalaignar TV) and Kanimozhi hold 20 percent shares separately in Kalaignar TV. It is impossible to believe that Sharad is the operating mind behind Kalaignar TV, when Kanimozhi and Ammal, belonging to the same family, hold 80 percent of the total shares in the channel," Lalit contended pleading no leniency should be shown to them.

But despite damning CBI arguments against Kanimozhi, the DMK MP may not immediately go to jail as her bail plea was deferred to May 14.

"The order on the bail plea is reserved for May 14," judge Saini said after a three-hour long argument by the CBI counsel in a courtroom jampacked with DMK leaders, journalists and members of the Karunanidhi family.

On Friday, Kanimozhi`s counsel Ram Jethmalani had told the same court that "it`s A Raja who could be accused of conspiracy, not Kanimozhi.

"I do not suggest that everybody is innocent in this case....i was not handling the day-to-day affairs of the company which has been mentioned in the chargesheet," Jethmalani argued for Kanimozhi as he tried to distance his client from Raja and Sharad Kumar.

The CBI Saturday termed Balwa group as the main beneficiary of the license saying, "It is impossible to believe that money could be transferred from one point to another without there being any contract or any security bond signed.

"Each and every document including the cheques, affidavit, and contract were signed by Sharad Kumar. In such a case, there is no doubt that Sharad and Kanimozhi were involved in the entire transaction....no bail should be granted to them," Lalit added.

The submissions were opposed by Kanimozhi`s counsel who said, "There is no reason why she should not be released on bail......a member of parliament and daughter of DMK chief (M Karunanidhi) is not going to abscond."

Explaining the route of the money trail, the CBI said, "The COO in D.B. realty, Asif Balwa, and the CFO Rajiv Agarwal, both are directors in Kusegaon. The duo was responsible for leading this financial trial that reached Kalaignar."

Pointing the involvement of all the accused, the CBI questioned, "Do you think that Sharad and Kanimozhi are the only acting persons to be held accused in this case?"

Earlier in the day, a composed Kanimozhi, 43, accompanied by her husband Aravinthan and mother Dayalu Ammal appeared before the judge.

Former telecom minister Raja greeted Ammal when she entered the courtroom and touched her feet.

Former union minister TR Baalu told reporters that the party would await for the court decision on the bail plea May 14.

Later, the court also dismissed an application moved by both Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar for not appearing in person during the court proceedings.

This means that the duo will have to come to the court in the Patiala House complex here daily.

Kanimozhi also has to appear before the Enforcement Directorate May 11 and 12, sources said.

Kanimozhi, who was seated a row behind Raja, was often seen talking with the former minister, who is lodged in Tihar jail.

The CBI has chargesheeted Raja, his aide RK Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa for conspiring to sell valuable 2G spectrum waves to select companies at rock bottom prices.

Later, the probe agency also named Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi`s daughter Kanimozhi as co-conspirator in the case, while his wife Dayalu Ammal was listed as a witness.