CBI raids Kalaignar TV office

Thursday, February 17, 2011

CHENNAI - The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Friday raided the office of Kalaignar TV, promoted by family members of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation scam, sources said.

While CBI officials were unavailable for comment, the company said it would issue a statement later on.

The channel is under the CBI scanner for its Rs.200 crore loan transaction with Cineyug Films which is connected to Shahid Usman Balwa of Swan Telecom.

“I am not aware of the raids as reported by television channels,” said Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi, who is one of the major promoters of the company that owns Kalaignar TV channel.

Queried about the transaction with Cineyug Films, she said: “The company head Sharad (Kumar) has issued a detailed statement clarifying the transaction. I don’t know how this is linked to telecom companies.”

The company’s Managing Director Sharad Kumar had Wednesday welcomed investigative agencies to verify its books and documents in connection with the loan transaction the company had entered into with Cineyug Films.

Referring to his Feb 10 statement, where he had clarified that Kalaignar TV had no connection with the 2G spectrum allocation made in 2007-08 and the loan transaction with Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd in 2009, he said: “Despite the clarification, the CBI has mentioned about the loan transaction in the court.”

The CBI has alleged a connection between Swan Telecom’s Balwa and Kalaignar TV.

Seeking further remand of Balwa, the CBI had claimed before the court that Balwa was favoured by former union communications minister A. Raja in the allocation of spectrum.

According to Kumar, Cineyug gave some money as advance towards the acquisition of stakes in Kalaignar TV in 2009.

“Owing to the differences in valuation of the shares of two companies, a sum of Rs.200 crore received till August 2009 was considered as a loan and was paid back by Kalaignar TV along with an interest of Rs.31 crore,” Kumar had said in a statement earlier.

He also said the transaction was reported to the Income Tax Department and the relevant tax had been paid.

Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu and his daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi together hold majority stake in the company.

Former communications minister A. Raja resigned for his alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, which caused huge losses to the national exchequer. He was Thursday sent to Tihar Jail on 14 days judicial custody by a Delhi court.

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