A special bench of the Supreme Court hearing 2G cases will take up the plea of Dayalu Ammal, wife of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, for exemption from personal appearance as a prosecution witness in the 2G spectrum case.
A bench headed by Justice K S Radhakrishnan before whom the matter was listed refused to hear the case, saying the matter be heard by the special bench, comprising Justice G S Singhvi and himself, which is hearing all the 2G cases.
The petition has been filed by Ms. Dayalu Ammal’s daughter Selvi, who has pleaded that a medical board be constituted to find out whether her mother is physically and mentally fit to come to Delhi from Chennai to depose before the special CBI court.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the petitioner, contended that Ms. Dayalu Ammal had been diagnosed with cognitive and behavioural abnormalities in June last year and that she is progressively and gradually losing recognition of even her near and dear ones and is unable to move out of the house on her own.
The bench, after hearing his submissions, said the matter be heard by the special bench which is sitting tomorrow.
In the petition, it has been submitted that due to her physical and mental condition, Ms. Dayalu Ammal is prone to “abrasive behaviour, clumsy habit with sudden hitting or punching people, inappropriate talk and action and inability to take care of day-to-day activities”.
The petition has been filed against the special CBI court’s order refusing to exempt her from appearing as a witness in the case.
The plea for exempting 82-year-old Ms. Dayalu Ammal from appearing as a prosecution witness had earlier been moved in the Delhi High Court which on July 4 asked her to move the apex court for relief, as the 2G case is being monitored by it.
The special CBI court had on May 31 dismissed Ms. Dayalu Ammal’s exemption plea, saying she is an “important witness” as she was a director in Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd in which an alleged bribe amount of Rs 200 crore was received.
Ms. Dayalu Ammal had approached the special court seeking exemption from personal appearance as a witness and to dispense with her presence in the case citing her ailments.
The trial court’s order assumed significance as Mr. Karunanidhi’s daughter and DMK MP Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar, Managing Director of the TV channel, are facing trial in the case along with former Telecom Minister A Raja, DB Realty Ltd MD Vinod Goenka and others.
The CBI had, in its chargesheet, discussed the routing of over Rs. 200 crore illegal gratifications from M/S Dynamix Realty to Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd through M/S Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd and Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd.
In its first charge sheet filed on April 2, 2011, the CBI had said the money had travelled through a “circuitous route” through Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, a DB group company and Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd, to Kalaignar TV in which Ms. Dayalu Ammal, Ms. Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar were having 60, 20 and 20 per cent shares respectively.
Ms. Dayalu Ammal was not named as an accused in the case by CBI which had said due to her advanced age and “non-understanding” of any language other than Tamil, she was only fulfilling the legal requirements of Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd in which she is one of the Directors.
CBI had said Ms. Dayalu Ammal had delegated her powers to Mr. Sharad Kumar to run the company’s affairs.