Karunanidhi to visit daughter in Tihar jail Tuesday (Lead)

June 20th, 2011 - 11:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Chennai/New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) With the apex court Monday denying bail to his daughter Kanimozhi, DMK president and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi will be flying to Delhi Tuesday to visit her in jail.

He will meet Kanimozhi, a Rajya Sabha member, who is lodged in Tihar jail. She has been charged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as co-conspirator in the 2G spectrum scam.

Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar, managing director of Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, were named by CBI as co-conspirators in the supplementary chargesheet for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs.214 crore. They were arrested May 20 after the trial court dismissed their bail pleas.

The investigating agency said the bribe was routed through Kalaignar TV, which is essentially owned by Kanimozhi and her step-mother Dayalu Ammal, holding 20 percent and 60 percent stakes, respectively, in the satellite television company.

The balance 20 percent stake is held by Sharad Kumar.

It is alleged that Kalaignar TV received Rs.214 crore through a “circuitous” route from Shahid Usman Balwa, the promoter of Swan Telecom, which is one of the companies that received 2G spectrum when the DMK’s A. Raja was communications minister in 2008.

According to DMK sources, Karunanidhi will be meeting Kanimozhi and also Sharad Kumar and Raja who are lodged in Tihar jail.

The DMK leader is expected to return back Wednesday.

Karunanidhi visited New Delhi May 23 and met Kanimozhi. He did not meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi during his visit.

“At a time when Kanimozhi is under arrest, it is not appropriate to meet Sonia Gandhi and hence did not meet her. But union Ministers Ghulam Nabi Azad and P. Chidambaram met me there,” he said then.

Karunanidhi also met DMK MP Raja, the primary conspirator in the scam.

“He is really upset that her bail plea was rejected in the Supreme Court,” a party leader said in New Delhi Monday.

Kanimozhi, 43, has been in Tihar jail since May 20 after her bail plea was rejected first by the special CBI court and then by the Delhi High Court.

“We thought Kanimozhi would get the bail today. It is a real blow to our (DMK) party. Rajathi Ammal (Kanimozhi’s mother) is in the capital to give moral support to her daughter,” a DMK source said.

Neeraj Kumar, director general of the Tihar jail, said he was not aware of any impending visit by Karunanidhi.

The trial court of CBI Special Judge O.P. Saini is in recess till July 4, after which it will resume hearing on the chargesheet filed by the CBI in the 2G case.

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