As part of its ongoing probe into the Preliminary Enquiry (PE) registered into the sale of the telecom spectrum during 2001-2007, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday quizzed senior officials of Standard Chartered Bank.

Sources in the CBI said that three officials from the merger and acquisition division of Standard Chartered Bank appeared before the agency officials at its headquarters here. Certain clarifications were sought from them about the Aircel-Maxis deal. The CBI team heard from the bank officials about allegations levelled by former Aircel promoter C. Sivasankaran that the then Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran had forced him to sell his company to Malaysia-based Maxis group in 2006.

Sources said that Standard Chartered was the banker in the deal in which Maxis bought a 74 per cent stake in Aircel. They said documents from the bank could provide crucial details about the financial transactions. The sources said that statements of the bank officials were recorded and their versions were taken.

Mr. Sivasankaran had alleged in a statement before the CBI that he was forced to sell his stake in Aircel by Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanidhi at a very cheap price to Malaysia-based Maxis, considered closed to the Marans. The allegations have been denied by Dayanidhi Maran, who maintained that he did not play any role in the Aircel-Maxis deal.

Sources said the CBI primarily wants to get details of correspondence of the bank with both parties - Sivasankaran and Maxis officials - and the manner in which entire deal was done.

The CBI is verifying the allegations levelled by Mr. Sivasankaran and seeking documents and other details from Standard Chartered officials, the sources said.

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