Kalaignar TV pay-off
The ED said during its presentation to the JPC that the DB Group, which had bagged 2G licences from former telecom minister A Raja, gave Rs 223.5 crore to Chennai-based Kalaignar TV owned by Karunanidhi's wife and daughter. "The illegal payment was probed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)," ED officials said in the presentation.The ED also gave transaction details of the pay-off in the case and said it had succeeded in tracing original source of the money. "They were transferred by the offender company through various entities based in and outside India," the agency said. It also produced a list of transactions and front entities involved in transferring the funds.
Briefing the JPC, ED said it was also probing allegation of another payoff to the Karunanidhi clan: the one from Malaysia's Maxis Communication in which the beneficiary was Sun Direct TV Ltd, which is owned by family members of former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, the grand nephew of Karunanidhi. It is alleged that Maran had abused his official capacity to help Maxis acquire Aircel. With reference to the second case, ED said a probe was being carried out against illegal gratification of Rs 549.96 crore.
The ED said it conducted a probe in Malaysia in May this year along with the CBI and was waiting for handy information from that country on the case.
ED faces the heat
Earlier, the ED was slammed by the JPC for its alleged slowness in investigating the 2G scam. The latter also sought more details on the scam. The ED officials along with finance secretary RS Gujral briefed the JPC about the progress on the scam.
While JPC members like Gurudas Dasgupta of the CPI and Ravi Shankar Prasad of the BJP asked whether all the cases which were being probed fell under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). T Siva of the DMK and Manish Tiwari of the Congress asked the ED whether it could establish the 'illegal gratification' allegedly paid to Kalaignar TV.
On the second question, the ED said it had quizzed Karunanidhi's daughter and DMK MP Kanimozhi, who owns 20% share in the channel, and her stepmother and the DMK patriarch's second wife Dayalu Ammal, who owns 60%. Chennal MD Sharad Kumar owns the remaining 20%. The ED also recorded statements of Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar while Dayalu Ammal was spared. [Vajpayee in witnesses list]