New Delhi: DMK Supremo M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal was on Friday exempted from personal appearance even on the date of framing of charges in a 2G spectrum scam related money laundering case by a special court which allowed her lawyer to sign charge documents on her behalf.
The court made a departure from the established procedure that warrants physical presence of an accused before it at the time of framing of charges for admission of the alleged offence or the denial for claiming trial on the ground of innocence.
Considering the age-related ailments of 82-year-old Ammal that has rendered her immobile, Special CBI Judge OP Saini allowed her counsel's plea to sign the charge papers on her behalf with a condition that she will "not dispute any steps taken by her counsel" in the proceedings and shall not claim any prejudice at any stage of the trial and thereafter.
"After giving my thoughtful consideration to the matter, I deem it proper to allow her prayer and get her plead to the charge through alternative means."
"In my view, it would be proper if her duly authorised advocate is made to sign the charge subject to the condition that she would not dispute any steps taken by him in the proceedings and shall not claim any prejudice at any stage of the trial or before superior courts.
"Accordingly, her advocate Sudarshan Rajan, whose Vakalatnama is on record and who has been consistently appearing in the court, is allowed on her behalf to plead to the charge," the judge said.
The court noted that Ammal, who has claimed that she is confined to her bed in her Chennai home, was also a witness in the trial of scheduled offences in which former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and 15 others have been made accused by CBI.
It said in that case also, similar submissions were made by Ammal's counsel and ultimately the Supreme Court had directed that in view of her sickness, she may be examined by a commission at her residence.
Similar submissions were also made in her bail plea which was allowed by the court in the money laundering case.
The court passed the order after framing charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Ammal, Kanimozhi, Raja and 16 others, including nine firms, in the case in which chargesheet was filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Detailing her role in the case, the court said the inflow of illegal gratification of Rs 200 crore in DMK-run Kalaignar TV (KTV) and its utilisation by KTV was made when Ammal was holding the post of director and she was one of the promoters and the majority shareholder (60 per cent) in the channel.
It also said she had attended meetings of the shareholders and meetings of Board of Directors (as a director) during the period when the illegal gratification of Rs 200 crore was received in KTV.
"She was involved in the refund of proceeds of crime of Rs 223.55 crore from KTV to Dynamix Realty. Thus MK Dayalu was actually involved in the commission of the offence of money laundering as defined under Section 3 of the Act," the judge said.
ED, in its charge sheet, had alleged that the accused were involved in the Rs 200-crore money transaction which was not "bonafide" and "genuine" and it was a "bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies" by Raja.
The agency had claimed that the series of transactions relating to transfer of Rs 200 crore from DB group company to DMK-run Kalaignar TV through Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd and Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd were not "genuine business transaction".
Updated Date: Oct 31, 2014 21:19:58 IST