Enforcement Directorate (ED) today faced the ire of a special court which warned the agency that it would impose “exemplary cost” on it for wasting court’s time due to non-availability of prosecution witnesses for recording of their statements in a 2G scam-related case.
Special CBI Judge O P Saini was irked as no prosecution witness turned up before the court during the day for recording of statement in the ED’s 2G scam-related money laundering case in which ex-Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others are facing trial.
“It is impressed upon the prosecution (ED) to summon two or three witnesses for each date so that presence of at least one or two witnesses is assured in the court, as almost all witnesses are from outstation.
“Since no other matter is pending before this court, the whole day is lost on account of non-availability of witnesses. If the prosecution fails to procure the presence of witnesses in future, it shall be subjected to exemplary cost for wasting the time of the court as it has happened earlier also on many occasions,” the judge said and fixed the matter for tomorrow.
During the hearing, ED’s special public prosecutor Naveen Kumar Matta told the court that two witnesses, Raj Kumar Tharad from Kolkata and Surender Mohan Prasad from Mumbai, were summoned and served for recording of their statements today.
Matta said that Tharad has sent a request saying that duly certified documents could not be procured from the bank which were related to the case whereas Sharma did not come to the court due to a family function.
The court “reluctantly allowed” the submissions of the ED prosecutor.
Raja, Kanimozhi, DMK leader M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal, Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and 14 others, including nine firms, are facing trial in the case in which the ED had on April 25 filed a charge sheet against them for alleged offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).