Kanimozhi goes to jail

Kanimozhi goes to jail

The arrest of Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK chief M Karunanidhi, has come as a double blow for the party’s first family following the debacle in the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.

Kanimozhi, 43, was named accused in the supplementary charge sheet by the CBI on April 21 as she held 20 per cent stake in Kalaignar TV that allegedly received Rs 200 crore from accused Shahid Usman Balwa’s D B Realty.

Special Judge O P Saini dismissed the bail application filed by her and Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd  managing director and CEO Sharad Kumar, saying that the magnitude of the crime was enormous and there was apprehension that witnesses could be influenced.
Noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani’s appeal to the court to treat Kanimozhi differently as she was a woman made no impression. “Considering the magnitude of the crime and the allegations against her, I am unable to show any consideration to her on this (gender) ground, though I wish I could show her some consideration, taking into account her extremely dignified conduct in the court,” said the judge, presiding over the special court appointed by the Supreme Court.

As the judge pronounced the order at 2:30 pm, Kanimozhi, who had maintained her calm and composure since morning, looked a little unsettled. Her eyes turned moist as she hugged her husband Aravinthan in the courtroom.

Now, she has joined the company of her party colleague and former telcom minister A Raja, several top corporate officials, including three from Reliance Telecom, who have been remanded to judicial custody in the 2G spectrum allocation case registered on October 21, 2009.

In his 144-page order, the judge was seemingly more courteous by airing expressions like “utmost respect” and “I beg to differ” and also appreciated Kanimozhi’s conduct during the proceedings.

Several party MPs, including T R Baalu, were present in the court. Three party workers broke down on hearing the news of their leader being sent to jail.

According to sources, Kanimozhi at a Tihar jail cell meant for women prisoners only. She is lo­dged in a cell in As­ia’s largest prison that has been divided into nine separate sections.
Aravinthan said, “We have faith in the judiciary and we will explore all available legal options.”

The CBI, which had filed the supplementary charge sheet against Kanimozhi, did not arraign Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal as an accused despite her holding 60 per cent stake in Kalaignar TV, in view of her assertion that she did not know any language other than Tamil and was not participating in the channel’s affairs.

According to the CBI, the money was transferred to Kalaignar TV as a quid pro quo from DB Group companies for granting licence to their Swan Telcom Ltd.

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