A special court today deferred hearing in the 2G spectrum scam cases in which former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi are among the accused.
Special Judge O P Saini, who is exclusively dealing with cases arising out of the 2G spectrum scam, also issued production warrants against Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra and Bollywood producer Karim Morani, who were absent as they are in judicial custody in other cases.
While Chandra is in Tihar Jail in connection with several cheating cases against his real estate firm Unitech Ltd, Morani is in a Hyderabad jail in a rape case.
The other accused were present in the court.
The court — which has been hearing the three cases, two filed by the CBI and one by the Enforcement Directorate — has fixed November 7 as the next date of hearing when it is likely to decide the date of pronouncing the judgement.
In the first case filed by the CBI, those facing trial include Raja and Kanimozhi as well as former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Chandra and three top executives of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) — Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair.
The directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Director Sharad Kumar and Karim Morani are also accused in the case.
Besides these 14, three telecom firms — Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd — are facing trial in the case.
In October 2011, the court framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.
In its charge sheet filed in April 2011 against Raja and others, the CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in the allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.
The court has recorded the statements of 154 CBI witnesses — including Anil Ambani, his wife Tina Ambani and former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia — running into over 4,400 pages.
The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.
In the second CBI case, those facing trial are Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf.
Three firms, Loop Telecom Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding Ltd (ETHL), have also been named in the charge sheet.
The ED had filed a charge sheet in April 2014 against 19 people, including Raja, Kanimozhi, Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Aggarwal, Karim Morani and Sharad Kumar, in connection with a money laundering case relating to the scam.
In its charge sheet, the ED also named DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal as an accused in the case, in which it alleged that Rs 200 crore was paid by STPL promoters to DMK-run Kalaignar TV.
The final report named 10 individuals and nine companies as accused in the case. The ED has charge-sheeted them for the offence of money laundering under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was today summoned as accused by special court which took cognisance of the CBI charge sheet against him for allegedly amassing disproportionate assets worth around Rs 10 crore.
Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh was also summoned as accused.
They have been asked to appear on May 22 before the court of Special Judge Virender Kumar Goyal.
Besides the 82-year-old Congress leader and his wife, those asked to appear as accused are Chunni Lal Chauhan, Joginder Singh Ghalta, Prem Raj, Vakamulla Chandrasekhar, Lawan Kumar Roach and Ram Prakash Bhatia.
The charge sheet, running into over 500 pages, claims that Singh had amassed assets worth around Rs 10 crore which were disproportionate by 192 per cent to his total income during his tenure as a Union minister.
The final report, filed against Singh and eight others for alleged offences punishable under sections 109 (abetment) and 465 (punishment for forgery) of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act, arrayed around 225 witnesses and 442 documents.
The report also named as accused LIC agent Anand Chauhan, who is currently in judicial custody.
Chauhan was arrested by Enforcement Directorate on July 9 last year in a separate money laundering case related to the present case.
The matter was transferred by the Supreme Court to the Delhi High Court, which on April 6, 2016 had asked the CBI not to arrest Singh and directed him to join the probe.
On November 5 last year, the apex court had transferred Singh’s plea from the Himachal Pradesh High Court to the Delhi High Court, saying it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, but “simply” transferring the petition “in interest of justice and to save the institution (judiciary) from any embarrassment”.
A special court today reserved its verdict in the 2G spectrum allocation scam cases involving former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others as accused, six years after the CBI filed the first charge sheet.
Special Judge O P Saini, who is exclusively dealing with the cases arising out of the 2G spectrum scam, fixed July 15 for pronouncement of the verdict in the three cases.
The court has been hearing the three cases — two filed by the CBI and the third by the Enforcement Directorate.
The court asked all the parties to file by July 5 any additional documents they wished to.
In the first case filed by CBI, those facing trial, besides Raja and Kanimozhi, are former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) — Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair — are facing trial in the case.
Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Director Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also accused in the case.
Besides these 14, three telecom firms — Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd — are also facing trial in the case.
The court had in October 2011 framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating,forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.
In its charge sheet filed in April 2011 against Raja and others, CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.
The court has recorded the statements of 154 CBI witnesses, including Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani, his wife Tina Ambani and former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, running into over 4,400 pages in the case.
The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.
In the second CBI case, those who face trial are Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters, Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf.
Three firms, Loop Telecom Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding Ltd (ETHL) are also chage sheeted.
The ED, in its case, had filed a charge sheet in April 2014 against 19 people, including Raja, Kanimozhi, Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Aggarwal, Karim Morani and Sharad Kumar in connection with a money laundering case relating to the scam.
In its charge sheet, ED also named DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal as accused in the case in which it alleged that Rs 200 crore was paid by STPL promoters to DMK-run Kalaignar TV.
The final report named 10 individuals and nine companies as accused in the case and the ED has chargesheeted them for the offence of money laundering under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Arms dealer Abhishek Verma, his wife and others were discharged by special court today in a CBI case involving alleged payments to some officials to influence the Defence Ministry to keep a German firm out of the government’s blacklist.
Special CBI Judge Anju Bajaj Chandna also discharged Verma and his Romanian wife Anca Verma in a money laundering case filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the matter.
The CBI had filed its charge sheet against Verma, his wife, Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD) and its top official Gerhard Hoy.
The court discharged them saying that there was not enough evidence to put them on trial in the two cases.
According to the CBI, RAD had transferred USD 5,30,000 to a New York bank account belonging to Ganton Ltd, a US-based company owned by Verma.
Verma had promised to stall the blacklisting process in exchange for money, according to the police chargesheet.
The agency had told the court that it had traced banking transactions from Europe to the US, linking Verma and his associates with the German arms conglomerate.
ED had filed a separate case of money laundering against the couple on the basis of the CBI complaint.
The German company’s troubles started in 2009 when the CBI registered an FIR accusing it of bribing the then Director General of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to secure a contract for supply air defence guns to the Indian Army.
“On the basis of investigation of this (2009) case, blacklisting of RAD (Rheinmetall) was recommended by CBI. When this matter of blacklisting was under process, Abhishek Verma got in touch with the representatives of RAD and assured them of help by influencing the public servants to stall the process of aforesaid blacklisting of RAD,” the CBI chargesheet said.
The Anti-Corruption Branch today told a special court that further probe in a case involving Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal for alleged irregularities in the recruitment process is going on.
The investigating officer (IO) said further investigation, as directed by the court earlier, was underway and sought time to complete the probe.
Special Judge Hemani Malhotra granted time to the probe agency and fixed the matter for May 5 for further hearing.
Maliwal, who was earlier granted bail by the court in the matter, was also present at the hearing and sought copies of deficient documents supplied with the charge sheet.
The court also directed the IO to provide copies of documents to the AAP leader.
Maliwal was summoned as accused by the court on January 18 after taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed by ACB.
The court, however, had said the probe has not identified Maliwal’s associates with whose connivance “illegal practices were adopted” and directed the police to probe their role and file supplementary charge sheet against them.
The charge sheet was filed by ACB on December 21, 2016 against Maliwal in connection with alleged irregularities in appointment of AAP workers in DCW.
The ACB had taken up the probe on a complaint by former DCW chief Barkha Shukla Singh, who had alleged that several AAP supporters were given plum posts in the women’s panel.
Singh, an ex–MLA, had filed the complaint against Maliwal and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on August 11, 2016, alleging that many illegal practices were adopted by them to financially benefit aides and associates of Aam Aadmi Party at the cost of public exchequer.
A case was lodged against Maliwal on September 19 last year for alleged offences of cheating and criminal breach of trust by public servant under IPC and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.
ACB had said during probe, it was found that Maliwal, in connivance with others has allegedly abused her official position and deliberately ignored the procedure laid down rules to employ associates or AAP workers beyond the authorised sanctioned strength of 26 posts, causing unauthorised benefits to them at the cost of public exchequer.
It was also found during the investigation that the appointments were made without inviting any applications by way of publication or constituting a selection board.
According to the prosecution, the probe revealed that the remuneration amount was hiked in a whimsical manner thereby granting undue pecuniary benefits to the close associates of Maliwal and those connected to AAP.
A special court dismissed today the anticipatory bail plea of a private bank official, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a fraud case post demonetisation, in a related cheating case.
Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry denied the relief to 32-year-old Vineet Gupta, a branch manager in Axis Bank’s Kashmere Gate branch who was suspended, in the case lodged against him by Delhi Police.
Gupta, who is in judicial custody in the case lodged by the ED, sought anticipatory bail saying he apprehends that police would arrest him if he gets bail in the ED’s case which is pending before another court.
He said his bail plea in the money laundering case is pending before another court.
The prosecutor, however, opposed his plea saying he cannot be given a blanket order granting protection from arrest.
Earlier, Gupta had approached the court seeking to surrender in the cheating case to which the police had said it would take his custody at an appropriate stage.
The ED had lodged a criminal complaint against two bankers and others based on a Delhi Police FIR after three persons were intercepted with Rs 3.7 crore cash in old currency notes in November last year in front of the bank’s Kashmere Gate branch.
Police booked Gupta for cheating and criminal conspiracy under the IPC and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Besides Gupta, 33-year-old Shobit Sinha, suspended manager (operations) in the bank, and Kushwaha, suspected to be the mastermind behind floating of shell companies, are lodged under judicial custody in the money laundering case for alleged irregularities related to conversion of old currency and supply of new notes.
Axis Bank had said in a statement, “The bank is committed to following the highest standards of corporate governance and has zero tolerance towards any deviation on the part of any of its employees from the set model code of conduct. In this particular case, the bank has suspended the erring employee and is cooperating with the investigating agencies.
A special court today deferred till March 8 the judgement in the 2007 Ajmer dargah bomb blast case.
Magistrate Dinesh Gupta adjourned the hearing as the court needed more time to study all documents submitted by the prosecution and the defence.
The blast on October 11, 2007 in the dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti at the time of roza iftaar, had left three pilgrims dead and 15 injured.
The case was handed over to ATS Rajasthan and was later transferred to NIA which re-registered the case with the NIA police station New Delhi on April 6, 2011.
There were as many as 149 witnesses in the case and 451 documents were examined and the NIA filed three supplementary chargesheets in the case.
Eight accused —Swami Aseemanand, Bhavesh Patel, Harshad Solanki, Lokesh Sharma, Devendra Kumar, Mehul Kumar, Mukesh Vasani and Bharat Bhai – are in judicial custody while one accused Chandrashekar is on bail.
The accused were produced in court today.
According to the NIA, three accused Sandeep Dange, Ramchandra and Suresh Nair- are absconding. One of the accused Sunil Joshi was murdered in December 2007.
The special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases here today remanded Aamir Gazdar, a close aide of the controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, in judicial custody till March 8.
The Enforcement Directorate, which arrested Gazdar on February 16, recommended his judicial custody today.
In the remand application, the ED said during the interrogation Gazdar gave details of the quantum of cash transactions handled by him at the instance of Naik, but did not give further information.
There was discrepancy between his actual income and disclosed income, the ED said. He filed IT returns in the name of his wife and three children, but admitted they did not have independent sources of income, which raised suspicion that he was laundering proceeds of crime, the anti-money laundering agency said.
Gazdar was claimed to have told ED that Naik gave him Rs four crore from his mother’s account which was credited to the account of Gazdar’s wife. Of this, Rs 2.4 crore was transferred to the account of his son, and later this sum was returned to Naik’s bank account, the agency said.
“However, Gazdar remained silent on being asked about the reasons for transferring such a huge amount to the account of his wife,” the agency said, claiming he was not only protecting himself but also shielding Naik.
He used high-end cars, and asked about the source of funds, he said they were bought with the money transferred by Naik, ED said.
In a related development Gazdar’s lawyer Mahesh Mule today filed an application claiming the ED recorded Gazdar’s statement under duress and that he wanted to retract it now.
The ED had registered a case against Naik last December under the PMLA. Naik, also facing a case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, is said to be in Saudi Arabia.
A special court today granted two weeks time to CBI for filing in a proper format the final report in a coal block allocation scam case against Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal, ex-Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao and others.
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar allowed the investigating officers (IO) plea seeking time on the ground that he has finalised the report, forwarded it to senior authorities and awaiting approval.
“IO submits that the new director of the CBI has recently taken over and his approval is not obtained so far. He says that he needs some time to file the report. Put up the matter for further hearing on February 20,” the court said.
The court had earlier rapped the CBI for not filing the final report in a proper format.
Later, the court had accepted the final report noting that sufficient time has already lapsed in the matter and asked the agency to file the documents in a “proper format”.
While filing the report, which contains CFSL report, list of documents, list of witnesses and their statements, the agency had told the court that the probe was complete in the case.
The court had earlier pulled up the CBI for delay in filing the report, saying it was affecting the progress of trial.
CBI had alleged that former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, also accused in the case, had favoured Jindal group firms — Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Private Ltd (GSIPL) — in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.
Opposing CBIs contention, all the accused had said there was no evidence to show that there was any conspiracy during the coal block allocation process. They had also denied the allegations levelled against them by CBI in its charge sheet.