For DMK’s Kanimozhi, an ED chargesheet could mean being sent to jail again

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/for-kanimozhi-an-ed-chargesheet-could-mean-a-fresh-jail-term/1090549/

Kanimozhi

2G Spectrum Scam: The case against M Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi, who is among the accused in the 2G spectrum scandal, has so far been making slow progress, with the Enforcement Directorate yet to chargesheet her and former telecom minister A Raja under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

If and when that chargesheet is filed, Kanimozhi could potentially face a second jail term. It could also lead to attachment of her properties and those of DMK-backed Kalaignar TV, say ED officials. Once charged under the stringent act, getting bail is difficult and punishment severe: section 4 prescribes rigorous imprisonment of seven years. Besides, the ED can attach properties identified as “proceeds of crime”.

With Karunanidhi having given the UPA until Thursday to adopt a resolution on Lankan Tamils in Parliament, sources predicted negotiations, and among the issues they expected to be discussed was the chargesheet. ED officials , meanwhile,say it is in its final draft and likely to be filed early next month.

The ED adjudicating authority, a three-member authority for civil proceedings and headed by Prasanna Kumar Misra, had issued orders against various 2G accused in January 2012, accepting as “proceeds of crime” properties identified as such by the ED.

There have been no attachment proceedings against Kanimozhi yet, though the authority’s order had said, “This so-called loan (said to be routed to Kalaignar TV) is the central issue in the case before us. Investigations have disclosed that Dynamix Reality and DB Realty Ltd had taken credit facilities from Ms IL&FS…”

Properties of Shahid Usman Balwa, Swan Telecom, D B Realty and others, together worth Rs 223.55 crore, have on the other hand already been attached by the ED. These include flats, land, bank balances and other assets described as “proceeds of crime”.

Kanimozhi had spent 190 days in Tihar Jail in 2011 after the CBI named her an “active brain” behind the functioning and setting up of Kalaignar TV. The CBI alleged that Kalaignar TV had received Rs 209 crore, deposited into their accounts through a circuitous route, from Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB).

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