Dayanidhi had put pressure on Aircel: CBI

The CBI on Tuesday charged that former Minister for Communications Dayanidhi Maran had delayed approval of licences to Aircel to pressure it to transfer the ownership to Malaysian company Maxis.

Special Public Prosecutor for the probe agency Anand Grover made this submission before Special Judge O.P. Saini while initiating argument on charge in the case. He further alleged the Minister had done this to get money for Sun Direct TV, owned by his brother, Kalanidhi Maran. Kalanidhi is an accused in the case.

The CBI in 2014 charge-sheeted the two brothers and others in the case, known as Aircel-Maxis deal case. The charge-sheet alleged that the former Minister had entered into a criminal conspiracy with T. Ananda Krishnan, owner of Maxis, and coerced C. Sivasankaran, owner of Aircel, to sell his shares to Krishnan allegedly in lieu of investments in Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd.

Besides the Marans, the CBI has named Ananda Krishnan, Ralph Marshall, a senior executive of the Maxis Group, and four companies, including the Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd, as accused in the chargesheet.

The CBI had in 2011 registered an FIR alleging that C. Sivasankaran, who had sought spectrum licences, was forced to sell his company to Maxis. In March 2006, the Maxis Group had bought 74 per cent stake in Aircel.

It was further alleged that the Department of Telecom had in 2006 issued 14 Letters of Intent to Aircel and all of them were converted into licences.

Thereafter, Mr. Maran’s family-owned company, Sun Direct, received substantial investment from the Maxis Group in the form of 20 per cent equity in it. The Maxis Group had invested a total of Rs. 599 crore in Sun Direct between 2007 and 2009, it was alleged.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 4:27:09 AM |

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