Earlier in the day, a special CBI court in Delhi on Thursday morning acquitted 19 accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case. Prominent among the acquitted accused are: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi.
In a statement here, the ED informed that it has decided to "move in appeal against the judgement of the Special Court, inter alia, on a number of grounds based on the facts as well as legal provisions".
"The Special Court appears to have failed to appreciate a number of factors which, inter alia, position the offence of money laundering as standalone offence. Besides the observation / findings of the Supreme Court in this case appear to have not been considered by the Special Court," the ED statement said.
It further added that "the offence of money laundering as defined under Section 3 is, inter alia, based on the term proceeds of crime. Proceeds of crime is defined under Section 2(1)(u) of PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act), which considers only the criminal activity instead of commission of an offence. The acquittal by the court in PMLA prosecution by interpreting the term criminal activity to the extent of commission of an offence appears to be erroneous".
The statement said that 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.
"The Special 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."
Apart from Raja and Kanimozhi, others acquitted in the case are: former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja 's erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra and three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) -- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair.
The alleged 2G scam was among the major corruption scandals that came to light during the second term of the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh.
It relates to the granting of 2G spectrum licence allocations in 2007-08 which caused, according to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer. The 2G trial began in 2011. (ANI)