Former telecom minister A Raja, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi and 17 others were on Friday chargesheeted by the Enforcement Directorate in a special court in connection with a money-laundering case relating to the 2G spectrum allocation scam in which the party-run Kalaignar TV was allegedly paid Rs 200 crore by the promoters of Swan Telecom.
In its chargesheet, the ED said that its investigation has revealed that the amount of Rs 200 crore was paid to Kalaignar TV by Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, promoters of Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd using their group entity Dynamix Realty through Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd and Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd in the "garb of legitimate financial transactions i.e. as loan/share application money".
The ED has named 10 individuals and nine companies as accused in the case for the offence of money laundering under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
It also named DMK Supremo M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka as accused in the case. Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, P Amirtham and Kalaignar TV Managing Director Sharad Kumar have also been named as accused in the case.
Apart from Swan Telecom, ED also named as accused Kusegaon Realty Pvt Ltd (formerly known as 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, Eversmile Construction Company Pvt Ltd, Conwood Constructions and Developers (P) Ltd, DB Realty Ltd and Nihar Constructions Pvt Ltd.
Special Central Bureau of Investigation Judge O P Saini said he would decide on April 30 on the issue of taking cognizance of the chargesheet.
The chargesheet was filed by ED Special Public Prosecutor Naveen Kumar Matta who said that the agency has investigated the "flow of funds" and they have found that money was laundered by these accused persons.
The chargesheet said that the amount of Rs 200 crore, which was paid on behalf of Raja in lieu of illegal favours given to Swan Telecom for the grant of UAS licence, was repaid with additional money to show that it was a legal transaction.
"Whereas in fact this payment was illegal gratification for and on behalf of A Raja and his associates in lieu of illegal favours given to STPL for grant of UAS Licence.
"Investigation, as aforesaid, has further revealed that the return of Rs 200 crore has been done along with the additional amount in order to show this illegal payment in the guise of legal and bonafide financial transactions," the chargesheet said. It said in the garb of loan it was in fact the illegal gratification, which was apparently projected as "untainted property".
"Besides the reverse flow of such amount further establishes the projection of proceeds of crime as untainted and is nothing but the process of laundering of money," it said. "It will not be out of place to mention here that the entire amount as stated earlier to the tune of Rs 223.55 crore was in fact proceeds of crime and has already been attached by way of provisional attachment order dated August 30, 2011 issued under section 5 (1) of PMLA which has been subsequently confirmed by the adjudicating authority on January 10, 2012 in terms of section 8 (3) of the PMLA," the chargesheet said.
It said the projection of tainted money as untainted was done by the accused persons/entities in two parts "firstly when the money flowed from Dynamix Realty to KTV and again when the money flowed back from KTV to Dynamix Realty."
"For both the transaction i.e. giving the money to KTV and its subsequent return, the accused persons/entities gave it a colour of regular business transactions with the intent to conceal its true nature and to project the said tainted amount as untainted," it said.
The chargesheet said the process of structuring of these dubious transactions for layering of the illegal gratification is a process to project the illicit money as untainted and is squarely covered under the provisions of section 3 of PMLA.
"Thus a complaint against the accused persons has been filed under the PMLA for the offence of money laundering committed by them," it said, adding that all the accused have been charged for the offence of money laundering defined under section 3 of the PMLA.
Raja, Kanimozhi, Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Aggarwal, Karim Morani and Sharad Kumar are also facing trial in the 2G scam case in which the CBI had earlier filed chargesheets.
The ED claimed to have found evidence with regard to the channeling of Rs 200 crore to Kalaignar TV through a circuitous route.
Dayalu Ammal was holding 60 per cent stake in Kalaignar TV while Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar each were holding 20 per cent stake.
Raja and Kanimozhi were earlier questioned by the agency in the case.
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.
Image: Karunanidhi with wife Dayalu Ammal and his daughter Kanimozhi