National

A Special 2G court on Saturday ordered that the trial of former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran be held separately from that of two Malaysian nationals also accused in a corruption case arising out of the Aircel-Maxis deal.

Special judge O.P. Saini issued open warrants against the Malaysian nationals — T. Ananda Krishnan, owner of Maxis Communications Berhad, Malaysia, and Ralph Marshall, director of Maxis Communications and Astro All Asia Networks Plc, UK.

“It is ordered that the trial of the appearing accused, that is, Dayanidhi Maran, Kalanidhi Maran, Messrs Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd. and and Messrs South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd. be segregated from the trial of accused Ralph Marshall, T. Ananda Krishnan, Astro All Asia Networks Plc. and Maxis Communications Berhad,” Mr. Saini said. “It is further ordered that an open and perpetual warrant of arrest be issued against Ralph Marshall and T. Ananda Krishnan, as prayed by the prosecution,” he said.

Ms. Saini issued the warrants on an application by the CBI. The CBI had sought issuance of the warrants after four summons issued against the two accused in the past four years were returned unserved.

The CBI had chargesheeted the eight accused in the case in August 2014. The court took cognisance of it the same year in October. The charge sheet accused Dayanidhi Maran of criminal conspiracy and making illegal pecuniary gain for himself in the deal.

It alleged that the former Minister had entered into a criminal conspiracy with T. Ananda Krishnan and coerced C. Sivasankaran, owner of Aircel, to sell his shares to Mr. Krishnan allegedly in lieu of investments in Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd., promoted by Kalanidhi Maran.

The probe agency argued before the court that there was no option left for the prosecution but to approach the INTERPOL for issuance of a Red Corner Notice against the accused, and for this an open warrant of arrest against the two accused from this court was required. South Asia Entertainment holdings Limited, an accused in the case, opposed the CBI plea, submitting that the prayer for warrants was not justified as non-service of summons could not be attributed to the acts or omissions of the accused.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 7:40:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article14651813.ece

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