HC defers 2G money laundering case hearing to October 25

HC defers 2G money laundering case hearing to October 25
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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday deferred hearing in the 2G spectrum money laundering case against former Telecom Minister A. Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others to October 25.

Justice Najmi Waziri allowed the accused persons’ plea for more time to file their response to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) petition challenging their acquittal.

The court was hearing the probe agency’s plea challenging a special court’s order acquitting Raja, Kanimozhi and others in the 2G spectrum case.

The special court on December 21, 2017 had acquitted all the accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Delivering the judgement, special judge O.P. Saini said the CBI and the ED had failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove the charges against 33 persons named in the case.

Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, the special court had also acquitted 17 others, including DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal, Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka of STPL, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, film producer Karim Morani, and P. Amirtham and Sharad Kumar of Kalaignar TV.

Former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R.K. Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra and three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) — Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair — were also acquitted by the special court.

The ED in its chargesheet had alleged that Rs 2 billion was paid by Swan Telecom (P) Ltd (STPL) promoters to the DMK-run Kalaignar TV.

The CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 309.84 billion to the exchequer in allocation of licences for the 2G spectrum. The allocation was scrapped by the top court on February 2, 2012.

The special court, which was set up on March 14, 2011 for hearing 2G cases exclusively, had also acquitted Essar Group promoters Ravi Kant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia and six others in a separate case arising out of the 2G scam probe.

The first case, prosecuted by the CBI, had 17 accused, while the second, pursued by the ED had 19. The third case had eight accused, including the Essar promoters.

IANS