Five more named co-accused in 2G phone spectrum case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Monday named five more people, including Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi, co-accused in the case involving the award of second generation (2G) phone spectrum.

The supplementary chargesheet, the second thus far, filed by the premier probe agency in a special court here also names as co-accused Sharad Kumar of Kalaignar TV, Karim Morani of Cineyug Films, and Asif Balwa and Rajiv B. Agarwal of Kusegaon Realty.

‘I don’t want to comment now,’ Kanimozhi told in Chennai.

Dayalu Ammal, wife of Karunanidhi and stepmother of Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi, does not figure in the charges filed Monday as speculated by a section of the media.

The probe agency had first named as accused former communications minister A. Raja, his personal aide R.K. Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa.

Later, five more corporate executives were added to the list as co-accused — Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom, Sanjay Chandra of Unitech and three officials of Anil Ambani Group: Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara.

All nine are in judicial custody.

The case involves award of telecom spectrum to private players, which the investigative agency says was done in a fraudulent manner, causing losses worth billions of rupees to the exchequer.

The case had taken a serious turn after Raja, a leader of the DMK, resigned Nov 14 as communications minister. This was after the official auditor held that his policy on spectrum allocation had led to a loss of several billion dollars to the exchequer.

While the former minister was arrested by the probe agency in the national capital Feb 2, along with Behura and Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoter Balwa was arrested from Pune on Feb 8.

Raja, his aide and officials from the Department of Telecom (DoT) face charges for their roles in awarding radio frequency. The former minister also faces charges of forgery, while Chandolia and Behura have been accused of misusing their official positions.

Sohrabuddin killing: Court questions Amin’s co-accused

The Gujarat High Court Wednesday issued notices to eight accused in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shootout case who challenged co-accused and former police official N.K. Amin’s plea to turn an approver.

Justice Akil Kureshi ordered the notices to be issued after a designated Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Aug 26 referred suspended deputy superintendent of police Amin’s plea to the high court to decide its constitutional validity.

Amin’s co-accused challenged the jurisdiction of the CBI court to accept his plea to turn an approver.

CBI court Judge A.Y. Dave referred the issue to the high court, stating that the designated court did not have the powers to decide the constitutional validity of Amin’s plea.

Opposing Amin’s bargain plea seeking pardon, the other accused’s lawyer S.B. Vakil said that the CBI court did not have the jurisdiction to record Amin’s statement.

Judge Dave said that further hearing would take place in the case after the high court’s ruling.

Eight co-accused, including suspended Indian Police Service officers D.G. Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh M.N. raised objections to Amin’s application.

Amin was serving in the city crime branch before being arrested in 2007 in connection with Sheikh’s killing.