New Delhi: DMK MP Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar on Saturday opposed CBI’s fresh plea of invoking an additional charge of criminal breach of trust on the ground that they were not the alleged beneficiaries of the 2G spectrum licences.
Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar, in their replies, sought dismissal of CBI’s plea saying they were not the part of conspiracy relating to allocation of spectrum.
“It is pertinent to mention that accused Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar have nothing to do with the allocation of spectrum nor in any way the beneficiary of the spectrum licences so allocated. Even as per CBI, they were not part of the conspiracy relating to allocation of spectrum,” senior advocate V G Pragasam and S J Aristotle, appearing for Kanimozhi and Kumar, said in the reply.
Kanimozhi, in her reply, said that as she is a public servant, a proper sanction is required to charge her for the additional penal provision.
“Even if it is assumed that she is liable to be charged for the additional penal provision then sanction under section 197 (prosecution of judges and public servants) of CrPC is necessary for prosecuting Kanimozhi, who is a sitting Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha),” the counsel said.
The reply was filed before special CBI judge O P Saini in compliance with its 7 October deadline.
The counsel said Kanimozhi and Kumar cannot be charged with criminal breach of trust as they were not related to the alleged “dishonest disposal of the valuable spectrum illegally” in violation of the existing policies.
“Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar cannot be said to commit the offence punishable under Section 409 (criminal breach of trust) read with 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC in as much as they were not related in any way to the alleged dishonest disposal of the valuable spectrum illegally in violation of the existing policies and eligibility criterion in order to confer wrongful gain on accused Shahid Usman Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd,” the reply said.
CBI has sought framing of additional charges against former telecom minister A Raja, his former private secretary R K Chandolia and former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura.
“The accused Raja, Behura and Chandolia were public servants having a dominion over valuable 2G spectrum in their respective capacities as public servants,” the CBI had said.
It also sought to try rest 14 accused, including Kanimozhi, Sharad Kumar and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa, under the same penal provision by making them a party to criminal conspiracy hatched by Raja and two other public servants.
If convicted for the offence of criminal breach of trust, the accused can face a maximum punishment of life term. The penal provision under which the accused have been charged so far provided for seven years jail term as the maximum sentence if found guilty.