News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

2G PMLA case: Court allows ED's plea for using I&B min files

The court, in its order, also said that copies of the two files have already been supplied to the accused and they would get the liberty to cross-examine the witness.

New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been allowed by a special court here to use two files of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the examination of a witness in the 2G scam-related money laundering case in which ex-telecom minister A Raja and others are facing trial.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini allowed ED's plea, saying that the use of these two files for the examination of witness Navil Kapur, under secretary in the I&B Ministry, was "essential" for a just decision in the case.

"I find that since the files are already in the custody of the court, the use of two files in the examination of Navil Kapur is essential for a just decision in the case," the judge said, adding, "Accordingly, the use of two files in this case and examination of Navil Kapur as a witness is allowed".

The court, in its order, also said that copies of the two files have already been supplied to the accused and they would get the liberty to cross-examine the witness.

During arguments on the plea, special public prosecutor Anand Grover said that production of the files was necessary as they contain information about tenure of DMK MP Kanimozhi, a co-accused in the case, as one of the directors in accused firm Kalaignar TV (P)Ltd and also for Kapur's examination.

Grover also argued that the information sought was quite relevant for the disposal of the case as these documents relate to the facts contained in the ED's complaint and it does not amount to filling up of lacunae or to prejudice the accused.

Opposing ED's plea, the counsel appearing for Kalaignar TV (P) Ltd contended that the agency was trying to fill up the lacunae and has failed to establish relevance of the documents and evidence sought to be produced.

The defence counsel also argued that production of these files at this stage may cause prejudice to the accused.

The judge, while allowing ED's plea, said there was no question of directing the ministry to produce these files as these documents were already in the court's custody.

The court also noted that the "sum and substance" of Kapur's examination as a witness would be to show Kanimozhi's tenure as a director on the board of Kalaignar TV (P) Ltd and some related matters.

"When the company as well as all its directors have been arrayed as accused in a criminal case, the fact relating to tenure of any director on the board of the company is a relevant fact and is required to be proved if that has bearing on the issue before the court," the judge said.

Raja, Kanimozhi, DMK leader M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and 14 others, including nine firms, are facing trial in the case in which ED had on April 25, 2014, filed a charge sheet against them for alleged offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The other individual accused in the money laundering case are Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Bollywood producer Karim Morani and P Amirtham. All of them are out on bail.

The court had also framed charges against accused firms STPL, Kusegaon Realty Pvt Ltd (formerly Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd), Cineyug Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd), Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, Dynamix Realty, DB Realty Ltd, Eversmile Construction Company Pvt Ltd, Conwood Constructions and Developers (P) Ltd and Nihar Constructions Pvt Ltd.

The court had on October 31 last year framed charges against the 19 accused, 10 individuals and nine companies, saying that Raja, allegedly in connivance with Kanimozhi, Dayalu Ammal and other co-accused, was involved in "parking" of illegal gratification of Rs 200 crore in Kalaignar TV.