NEW DELHI, June 8 (IANS): DMK MP Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar will continue to remain behind bars as the Delhi High Court Wednesday rejected their bail pleas in the 2G spectrum scam, citing prima facie evidence and their high political connections.
The single-judge bench of Justice Ajit Bharihoke said: "Petitioner Kanimozhi belongs to the same political party to which accused and former telecom minister A. Raja belongs and the said party is sharing power in the central government."
"Considering the financial and political clout of the petitioners, a possibility cannot be ruled out that if they are freed at this stage, they would interfere with the investigation or try to influence the witnesses," said the court in its 37-page order.
The court said that the facts and circumstances prima facie show that the petitioners received illegal gratification of Rs.200 crore in the account of Kalaignar TV, controlled by them.
"The proximity of dates on which the money got transferred via circuitous route involving DB Realty Group Companies, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd. and Cineyug Films Pvt. Ltd. as also the reverse trail of money prima facie cannot be a coincidence.
"This gives rise to a prima facie involvement that aforesaid methodology was adopted by them and their co-accused persons with a view to conceal the trail of money from DB Realty Group, which owns Swan Telecom Pvt. Ltd. and Unitech Group of Companies, in the matter of grant of UAS Licences and spectrum, which have caused a loss of about Rs.30,000 crore to the state exchequer," said the court.
Kanimozhi's mother Rajathi Ammal and DMK MP T.R. Baalu were present in the court. When the judge pronounced the order, Rajathi Ammal's eyes turned teary.
Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, and Kumar have been in the Tihar Jail since May 20 when a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here dismissed their bail pleas.
They appealed against the special court order in Delhi High Court May 23.
"The petitioners are in control of Kalaignar TV Pvt. Ltd... they are in position of power to influence the witnesses, particularly the employees of their company. They have got strong political connections," the judge said.
The CBI named Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar as co-conspirators in its April 25 supplementary charge sheet after it traced an illegal money trail of Rs.200 crore to Kalaignar TV, majority-owned by the family Karunanidhi.
The supplementary charge sheet also named Cineyug Films founder Karim Morani and Asif Balwa and Rajiv B. Aggarwal of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd.
Other co-accused in Tihar Jail are Raja, his aide R.K. Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, Swan Telecom director Vinod Goenka, Unitech Wireless's Sanjay Chandra and three executives of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group - Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara.