New Delhi, May 6: DMK MP Kanimozhi today moved a Delhi court for bail against arrest in the 2G case as her lawyer Ram Jethmalani sought to pass the blame on the scandal to the former Telecom Minister A Raja, who is also a party leader.
After day-long arguments on the bail applications for her and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, the special court for trying the scam adjourned the case for hearing till tomorrow morning when special prosecutor for CBI U U Lalit is expected to oppose freedom for them.
Special CBI Judge O P Saini ordered that status quo be maintained till it decides on their bail applications. Kanimozhi, the 43-year-old daughter of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi who appeared in response of the summons of the court, was composed as Jethmalani said that the conspiracy was hatched by Raja and she had no role in it. Kanimozhi, who was escorted to the court by her husband Aravindan and a battery of 11 party MPs including DMK Parliamentary Party leader T R Baalu, faces the charge of criminal conspiracy and taking illegal gratification for Kalaignar TV for grant of 2G licenses.
Raja was also present in the courtroom along with other corporate honchos who are in custody as Jethmalani recorded a caveat saying his arguments for Kanimozhi were being made without prejudice to the case of the other accused including Raja.
Outside the court, DMK spokesman and MP T K S Elangovan sought to dismiss suggestions that Raja was being given up by the party.
“Jethmalani does not belong to DMK. He is defending Kanimozhi and Raja will be defended by his advocate. This is how the court proceedings work,” he said.
However, Vijay Agarwal, lawyer for co-accused Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarawal, said that the CBI was adopting a “hostile” attitude against his clients while not arresting Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar who had allegedly received bribes.
At the outset, the eminent lawyer maintained that Kanimozhi “has no role, whatsoever, in the scam.” “My misfortune is that I am Karunanidhi's daughter and an MP. I have 20 per cent shares in Kalaignar TV. Show me one overt act of mine which relates to the offence.”
He contended that apart from having 20 per cent shares in Kalaignar TV, she does not have any role in running its day-to-day affairs.
She is neither a board member nor had attended any board meeting of the channel, said Jethmalani, adding that being a woman she deserves to be granted bail.
Dealing with the CBI's allegations, Jethmalani said, “Even if we assume that A Raja (former Telecom Minister) got transferred the bribe money from Dynamix group to Kalaignar TV, no guilt is proved against me as I did not sign any of the documents on behalf of the recipient TV channel.
“Let us also assume that at his (Raja's) instance Rs 200 crore was routed to the TV channel. What is the offence committed by me? I am only a shareholder in the company,” he asserted.
Jethmalani also sought to blame co-accused Sharad Kumar when he said that it was he (Kumar) who took all the decisions on behalf of the TV channel.
“It is almost impossible to obtain a conviction of mine in this case,” he said.
Citing various judgements of the Supreme Court and those of various US courts, Jethmalani said an overt act committed by the company cannot be attributed to a person who is its mere shareholder and did not take part in any of its decision-making processes, indicating his complicity in the case.
“I am an MP and a law abiding citizen. Moreover, being a woman I be released on bail on furnishing of bond,” he pleaded.
Jethmalani said, “I do not suggest that everybody is innocent in this case but so far as I am concerned I was not handling the day-to-day affairs of the company which had been in the chargesheet.”
“I am just a shareholder and not a director who had signed any document during the alleged transfer of money,” said Jethmalani.
“It is not the case of anybody that the TV channel came into being to get the 2G licences or to sell the same,” Jethmalani said.
The court had also issued summons to third accused, Cineyug Films Director Karim Morani, seeking his presence before it today. Morani, however, sought exemption from appearance on medical grounds. The court granted him the relief.
During the day-long proceedings, advocate Vijay Agarwal, the counsel for two other co-accused Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal, too concluded his arguments on their bail pleas saying they had no role, whatsoever in the spectrum allocation case.
“The bribe which we paid allegedly to Kalaignar TV was also received back by us through proper banking channel and hence the allegations against us are without any basis,” Agarwal said.
Meanwhile, tension gripped the DMK camp in Chennai today as a Delhi court adjourned the hearing on bail plea of Kanimozhi, named co-conspirator in the chargesheet in 2G scam case, with the top leadership remaining huddled throughout the day.
As Kanimozhi appeared in the court, Karunanidhi was understood to have been glued to television news channels which were providing constant feed on the court proceedings.
Most of Karunanidhi's senior cabinet colleagues, including son and Deputy Chief Minister M K stalin, turned up at DMK patriarch's Gopalapuram residence but none of the leaders intreacted with the media personnel there.
Even as TV channels were flashing the latest developments, the DMK leaders were gripped with palpable anxiety as they were not sure about the turn the case would take.
87-year old Karunanidhi, who had defended his daughter-politician to the hilt, had even thought of accompanying her to Delhi but was persuaded against by the family members citing his health condition. PTI