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CBI’s probe into Maran’s role questioned

The Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, has filed an application in the Supreme Court, questioning the CBI's “failure to conduct an honest probe into the role of the former Telecom Minister, Dayanidhi Maran, in the Aircel ‘sell-off' deal.”

The application was filed against the CBI's status report in the 2G spectrum allocation case that was submitted on September 1. The CBI “has apparently stated that ‘coercion' of Aircel's earlier owner Sivasankaran could not be established, and the allegations of quid pro quo are still being investigated.”

The CPIL said: “After the petitioner got hold of the evidence against the former Telecom Minister, Mr. Dayanidhi Maran, and the Maxis/Aircel owner, T. Ananda Krishnan, it filed an affidavit on June 1, which was served on the CBI. After such clear-cut evidence of coercion, favouritism and quid pro quo was filed in this court, the CBI began investigating this case and incorporated the status of its investigations in its status report of July 6. The CBI had apparently stated that it is conducting a Preliminary Enquiry as per their manual and they have found evidence of coercion and quid pro quo.”

“However, the CBI has now given an updated status report of its investigations on September 1. As per the understanding of the petitioners and as per news reports of the next day, the CBI has apparently stated that [the charge of] ‘coercion' of Mr. Sivasankaran could not be established, and the allegations of quid pro quo are still being investigated. Till date, the CBI has not even registered an FIR and has not questioned Mr. Maran,” it said.

The CBI's investigation in this case, the CPIL said, was less than honest. It was unfortunate that the CBI had not even registered an FIR in this case and apparently was seeking to close the case.

The application also brought to the court's notice how the Videocon Group was not brought under the ambit of the CBI probe in the 2G scam though Datacom, jointly owned by Videocon and HFCL, was one of the major beneficiaries of the spectrum allocation. The CBI's decision to leave Datacom out of the charge sheets had weakened the prosecution case, the CPIL said.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 1:47:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cbis-probe-into-marans-role-questioned/article2430293.ece

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