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Kanimozhi, Raja likely be chargesheeted soon by ED

Last updated on: January 13, 2014 17:23 IST

The Enforcement Directorate is expected to soon file a chargesheet against Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Kanimozhi and former Telecom Minister A Raja for alleged money laundering in the 2G spectrum case.

The attorney general's office has vetted and sent back the agency's chargesheet in this regard to the law ministry recently for further action.

The ED had asked for a legal vetting of the chargesheet by country's top law officer Ghoolam E Vahanvati through the department of revenue early last year.

Official sources said the attorney general perused he chargesheet and sent it back to the law ministry. The ED is expected to soon follow the set procedure and file the chargesheet in the case.

The opinion on the charge sheet included that of Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran who has cleared it for being placed before the competent court trying the 2G case.

The legal opinion to file a charge sheet in this case, sources said, is reinforced by a 2010 Jharkhand high court order which validates application of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in cases prior to its amendment in 2009.

The agency claimed to have found evidence with regard to the channelling of Rs 200 crore to the DMK family -- run Kalaignar TV through a circuitous route and relying on the Jharkhand hnigh court order it has decided to slap the charge of "criminal proceeds" against the accused, including the duo, under the PMLA.

The high court order, relating to Hari Narain Roy vs Union of India, had stated that any money laundering related offences prior to the date of amendment of PMLA can be prosecuted under the said Act.

This particular deal of Rs 200 crore pertains to January 2008.

The high court order, according to revenue department sources, has "made it clear and straight" for law enforcement agencies like Enforcement Directorate to prosecute any act leading to laundering even if they were committed before June 2009 when PMLA was amended and sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of IPC were included as scheduled offences.

Section 3 of PMLA states that "whosoever directly or indirectly attempts to indulge or knowingly assists or knowingly is a party or is actually involved in any process or activity connected with the proceeds of crime and projecting it as untainted property shall be guilty of offence of money laundering."

This order, the sources said, could be cited by the agency to nail Kanimozhi, Raja and other accused in this case.

The agency has already questioned the DMK leader and Raja in this regard.

It had summoned her and others for questioning about the alleged transfer of Rs 200 crore to the TV channel, in which she and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar each hold 20 per cent stake.

The ED had earlier also scrutinised documents related to both the DMK MPs incomes, properties and personal investments.

It had also initiated attachment proceedings under PMLA against other individuals and certain telecom firms involved in the case.

Besides the cases of Raja and Kanimozhi, similar probe is underway under the provisions of the anti-money laundering Act against Asif Balwa, Director of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, Rajeev Agarwal and Karim Murani of Cineyug Films (Pvt) Ltd.

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