CBI, ED to move HC over 2G verdict, say special court failed to note 'evidence'
New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday said they will appeal in the High Court against the special CBI court verdict acquitting all the accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case and said the court has "failed" to take note in "proper perspective" the prosecution's evidence.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a statement after special CBI judge O.P. Saini acquitted all the accused, including then Telecom Minister A. Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, said: "The CBI will be taking necessary legal remedies in the matter and is planning to move to High Court against the special court's verdict in the 2G scam case dated December 21, 2017.
"The judgement has been prima facie examined and it appears that the evidence adduced to substantiate the charges by the prosecution has not been appreciated in its proper perspective by the learned court."
The ED in a statement said, "We have decided to move in appeal against the judgement dated December 21 of the special court on a number of grounds based on the facts as well as legal provisions."
"The court appears to have failed to appreciate a number of factors which, inter alia, position the offence of money laundering as stand alone offence."
The ED, which is also probing financial irregularities in the case and assisting the CBI, raised question over the special court's verdict ignoring the findings of Supreme Court that has been keeping a regular tab on the investigation till the chargesheet was not filed in the case.
"Besides the observation and findings of Supreme Court in this case appear to have not been considered by the special court."
The ED statement said the offence of money laundering as defined under Section 3 is, inter alia, based on the term proceeds of crime which the court failed to appreciate.
The court also failed on the point in which the crime is defined under Section 2(1)(u) of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), which considers only the criminal activity instead of commission of an offence, it said.
It said that the acquittal by the court in PMLA prosecution by interpreting the term criminal activity to the extent of commission of an offence appeared to be "erroneous".
"The court has appreciated the material evidence qua offence of money laundering at the time of framing of charges against the accused persons but the same material appears to have not been considered while deciding the prosecution complaint under PMLA. And, the accused persons have been acquitted from the offence of money laundering only on the
basis of no commission of offence and not the occurrence of criminal activity," said the ED statement.
While announcing the judgment, the special judge O.P. Saini said the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove the charges against 33 persons named in the case that contributed to the Congress-led UPA's electoral loss in 2014.