The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday claimed it had additional “evidence” which exposes the alleged roles of DMK chief and former Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi, his daughter Kanimozhi and then Tamil Nadu Intelligence chief Jaffar Sait in the 2G spectrum scam.
Addressing a press conference, AAP leader Prashant Bhushan said four new taped conversations have surfaced which “throw more light” on the scam in which former Telecom Minister A Raja and Kanimozhi were chargesheeted.
These include purported conversations between Sait and then CM Karunanidhi’s private secretary Shanmuganathan, Sait and Sharad Kumar Reddy, then CEO of Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, dating back to 2010-11, when the CBI had intensified its heat on Raja before finally arresting him in February 2011.
\Bhushan admitted the AAP could not independently verify the authenticity of the tapes, but prima facie they appeared to be genuine. The AAP also alleged that the Tata Group was granted “favours” by the then DMK government in the state, and that the company transferred “huge property” to Kanimozhi’s aide.
In its chargesheet, the CBI had said Rs 200 crore was paid as bribe by Shahid Balwa’s Swan Telecom in lieu of the telecom licences in 2008. The money was allegedly transferred in several tranches into the account of Kalaignar TV in which both Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar Reddy have a 20 per cent stake each, and Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal has a 60 per cent stake. Kanimozhi and Kaliagnar TV had claimed that the alleged bribe was taken as unsecured loan and was returned to Balwa’s firm in 2010.
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“Backdated documents were prepared by Sharad (Kumar) Reddy to show this loan… This so-called return of loan was arranged by getting illicit money from other companies, which was shown as advance advertising fee to Kalaignar TV… Karunanidhi was fully in the know,” AAP said in a statement. “The conversations also contain multiple references to the transfer of huge property by the Tata Group through a subsidiary Voltas Ltd. of Tata Retail and Infrastructure Ltd (TRIL) to Kanimozhi’s aide.
It may be noted that this huge property transfer from the Tata Group to Kanimozhi’s aide appears to have been mentioned in the Radia tapes… while the 2G scam was taking place, Ratan Tata wrote a handwritten letter to Karunanidhi dated November 13, 2007 which was personally carried by Niira Radia in which he extols Raja’s virtues,” the statement said.
Reacting to the charges, Karunanidhi said, “It is all lies”. Kanimozhi was not available for comment. Sharad Kumar Reddy denied any knowledge about the matter, while Sait’s cellphone was unreachable.
PTI quoted a Tata Sons spokesperson as saying that “the business transactions of Tata companies are bona fide and in line with the group’s code of conduct…”
“…this fake recording could be work of poisonous elements with an ulterior political motive to taint Kalaignar TV,” read a statement from the TV channel that bore an office seal but no signature.
The CBI said on Tuesday that it is “in the process of obtaining the recordings/ transcripts of the said conversation after which necessary action as per law shall be taken.”