Former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and seven others, chargesheeted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a 2G scam-related money laundering case, were on Wednesday granted bail by a special CBI court.
"All the bail applications are allowed," Special CBI Judge O P Saini said and asked them to furnish a personal bond of Rs. five lakh each and a surety of like amount.
Earlier during the day, the court granted bail to DMK supremo M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, who was also chargesheeted in the case.
83-year-old Ammal was given bail on a personal bond of Rs. five lakh with two sureties of the like amount.
The court, however, dismissed the plea of Ammal seeking discharge in the case on the ground that she was not well and was suffering from unsoundness of mind.
ED had chargesheeted 19 accused -- 10 individuals and nine firms -- in the case saying that the transaction of Rs. 200 crore, which was allegedly paid to DMK-run Kalaignar TV, was "not genuine" and it was a "bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies".
Ammal was holding 60% stake in Kalaignar TV while Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar were holding 20% stake each, the agency had said.
It had also claimed that its probe into the case emanates from 2G spectrum allocation scam and the accused had allegedly conspired and committed offences under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, ED had named Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, Ammal and P Amirtham as accused in the case.
They all had moved bail applications which were allowed by the court.
ED has also named Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, Kusegaon Realty Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd), Cineyug Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd), Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, Dynamix Realty, Eversmile Construction Company Pvt Ltd, Conwood Constructions and Developers (P) Ltd, DB Realty Ltd and Nihar Constructions Pvt Ltd as accused in the case.
During the arguments on the bail pleas, ED had argued that the accused had committed the offence of money laundering punishable under the provisions of PMLA. The defence counsel, however, had opposed ED's claims contending that the charge sheet filed by the probe agency was "contradictory" and the transfer of Rs. 200 crore to Kalaignar TV was a "prudent business transaction".
On ED's allegation that the reverse trail of Rs. 200 crore from Kalaignar TV to the DB group company commenced after Raja was summoned by the CBI in December 2010 for interrogation in the 2G scam case, the defence counsel had argued that most of the money given to the TV channel was refunded before it. Raja, Kanimozhi, Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Agarwal, Karim Morani and Sharad Kumar are also facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case in which CBI had earlier filed charge sheets.