The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response from A. Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and 17 others on appeals by CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) challenging a Special CBI Court verdict acquitting all of them in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation case.
Justice S.P. Garg also directed one of the accused Dynamix Balwa group of companies and its associates to maintain status quo with regard to properties worth ₹ 223.55 crores, which was attached by Enforcement Directorate (ED) during the trial as ‘proceeds of crime’ till the next date of hearing on May 25.
Both Enforcement Directorate and CBI had moved the Delhi High Court this week challenging the special court verdict acquitting the former telecom minister and others in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case.
The CBI has contended that the Special CBI Court did not appreciate the evidence it had put forward establishing the alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation process. It said the money trail of alleged bribery, which it had unearth was not taken into consideration by the Special CBI Court. Even irregularities in implementation of first-come first-served policy was not considered, it submitted.
The ED had similar contention that the Special CBI Court, while acquitting all 10 individuals and nine entities from the money-laundering charges, did not properly appreciate the facts and evidence in the case.
On December 21 last year, a Special CBI Court had dismissed all charges framed by CBI and ED and acquitted Mr. Raja and others in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation case.
The Special CBI Court had remarked that the CBI had not produced any evidence which could establish “any criminality in the acts allegedly committed by the accused persons relating to fixation of cut-off date, manipulation of first-come first-served policy, allocation of spectrum to dual technology applicants…and transfer of ₹ 200 crore to Kalaignar TV (P) Limited as illegal gratification”.
It had also rejected ED’s charge of money laundering saying there was no “proceeds of crime” as all accused have been acquitted in main case filed by CBI.
In its appeal, ED has contended that the Special CBI Court was “misdirected” in holding that the money-laundering offence had not taken place merely because of acquittals in the CBI case.
The ED said that the accused persons were acquitted on the ground that the CBI case did not stand, ignoring judgment by various courts holding money laundering as an independent offence.
The first case in the 2G case prosecuted by CBI had 17 accused, while the second case pursued by ED had 19 accused. The third one had eight accused including Essar promoters.