The Trial Court, hearing the 2G scam case, has charged all the 17 accused with a criminal breach of trust.
Former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi along with 12 other people and three companies, who have been accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case, will be charged under Indian Penal Code Section 409 (Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent). Under criminal breach of trust charge, an accused if convicted, can be given a jail term of seven years.
Special Judge OP Saini decided that all the 17 accused will will be charged under criminal breach of trust during the hearing on Saturday at the Patiala House Court. All other charges levied by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have also been upheld, including abetment to illegal gratification against Kanimozhi.
The CBI filed its first chargesheet seven months ago, in which it called Raja the mastermind. He has been in jail since his arrest on February 2. The CBI has also named some of the biggest corporate executives and companies in the country in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
There are a total of 17 accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case. They are A Raja, Siddharth Behura, RK Chandolia, Gautam Doshi, Surrendra Pipara, Hari Nair, Sanjay Chandra, Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Sharat Kumar, Kanimozhi, Rajiv Agarwal, Asif Balwa, Karim Morani, Reliance Telecommunication, Unitech Wireless Pvt Ltd (Tamil Nadu) and Swan Telecom.
Raja has been charged with cheating, criminal conspiracy, forgery, accepting illegal gratification and criminal breach of public trust. Kanimozhi has been charged with accepting bribe, abetting a public servant for receiving illegal gratification and abetting a public servant in criminal breach of public trust.
The CBI has also charged Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Sanjay Chandra, Gautam Doshi among others of them abetment to cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and abetting a public servant in criminal breach of public trust.
Kanimozhi's father and DMK chief M Karunanidhi arrived in Delhi on Friday and met UPA Chairperson and Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday.
Kanimozhi has been lodged in jail for almost six months and has been denied bail. The court will resume hearing on the bail applications of various accused, including that of Kanimozhi, from October 24.
The Special Court also decided the charges against the three companies named by the CBI - Reliance Telecommunication, Unitech Wireless Pvt Ltd (Tamil Nadu) and Swan Telecom, which is now called DB Etisalat. The companies can be slapped with a steep fine if the charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery and cheating are proved.