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Kanimozhi's counsel wants Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as witness in 2G case

Jailed DMK leader Kanimozhi's counsel on Tuesday told the trial court dealing with the 2G scam that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should be called as a witness in the case...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

 

Jailed DMK leader Kanimozhi's counsel on Tuesday told the trial court dealing with the 2G scam that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should be called as a witness in the case.

The DMK MP, daughter of party chief M Karunanidhi, told a special CBI court through her advocate Sushil Kumar - who also represents jailed former telecom minister A Raja - that "if the trial goes on, I would summon the PM as a witness".

The statement came in the wake of arguments in which Kanimozhi said the PM and then finance minister P Chidambaram were fully in the loop on 2G spectrum allocation and were party to Raja and the telecom ministry's decision not to auction airwaves.

The PM and Chidambaram have said there was no loss due to the sale of spectrum and this "testimony" will establish that there can be no case of cheating against the accused, Kanimozhi's counsel said.

"I am showing you (judge) the minutes of the meeting in which the PM, the then finance minister and the telecom minister decided that licences for 2G spectrum were not to be sold or auctioned," Kumar said.

Kumar also said the PM had made a statement on the floor of Parliament that no loss was incurred to the exchequer in the grant of telecom licences. "The moment the loss factor goes out, the charge of cheating also goes out," Kumar said, adding: "The PM, the then finance minister (P Chidambaram) and the present telecom minister (Kapil Sibal) have told the House - the people of India - that no loss has been caused as 2G licences were not to be auctioned."

Seeking discharge from the case, the counsel for the 43-year-old DMK MP said: "The PM, the then finance minister and the present telecom minister are 'good enough' as witnesses to prove that there was no loss. They are on record in Parliament that the government did not incur any loss."

Kanimozhi also questioned her prosecution by CBI as a "private person" despite the fact that she was a lawmaker and sanction of the Rajya Sabha chairman was required to try her in the case. "Her (Kanimozhi) name figures in the chargesheet as a private person. She, during her interrogation, had already told CBI that she was an MP of Rajya Sabha. Still, they had the courage to say that she was a private person."

If CBI had disclosed that Kanimozhi was an MP, the court would have "certainly" asked for sanction but this was not done, the defence counsel said, adding, "No MP can be prosecuted without prior approval either from Lok Sabha Speaker or Rajya Sabha chairman."

Trashing the CAG report estimating a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore in the 2G spectrum allocation scam and CBI's computation of Rs 30,984 crore loss, her counsel said they were "just notional loss" and could not be a basis for prosecution of the accused.

Kanimozhi also shrugged off all responsibility from the "day-to-day affairs" of Kalaignar TV, in which she holds 20% share. "She did not even know that her company was taking Rs 200 crore loan at 10% interest rate. See her as a common shareholder who attends just an Annual General Meeting once in a year. Holding shares does not mean participating in the day-to-day affairs of the company," Kumar said.

"She attended just three meetings as a director of the board of Kalaignar TV - that is on June 6, 12 and 20 in 2007. She was director for just 14 days. The chairman of the board informed that Kanimozhi, being pre-occupied, does not wish to continue in office and attended only three board meetings as a director," the defence lawyer added.

 

DMK Leader Kanimozhi, 2G Scam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, M Karunanidhi, Special CBI Court, Advocate Sushil Kumar, Former Telecom Minister A Raja, P Chidambaram, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, Rajya Sabha, CAG Report