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Aircel-Maxis: After ED, CBI moves Delhi HC on dropping charges against Marans

LiveMint logoLiveMint 22-05-2017 Priyanka Mittal

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday moved the Delhi high court against an order dropping all charges against former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and others accused in the Aircel-Maxis case.

The central investigation agency approached the court within two days of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) having come to court disputing the same issue.

Justice I.S. Mehta, before whom the matter was brought, sought a response from Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and others who were discharged from the charges made out against them.

Anand Grover appearing for CBI requested that the case be heard with the one by the ED as similar orders would be passed in both the cases.

On 2 February, a special CBI court passed an order discharging all accused—effectively giving Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and others a clean chit against charges made by the CBI and the ED. It did not find them guilty of the charges made out in the chargesheet.

The Aircel-Maxis case is related to allegations that as telecom minister, Dayanidhi Maran used his influence to coerce Aircel owner C. Sivasankaran into parting with his stake in the company to T. Ananda Krishnan-led Maxis Communications Berhad.

This was allegedly done in lieu of investments by the Malaysian company through an arm in Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd. Dayanidhi Maran is one of the promoters of Sun Direct and was telecom minister during 2004-07.

The CBI had filed a chargesheet against the Maran brothers, Ralph Marshall, Maxis owner T. Ananda Krishnan, and four companies—Sun Direct TV, Astro All Asia Networks Plc, Maxis Communications Berhad and South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd, Malaysia. Marshall was the chief executive officer of Astro All Asia Networks.

They were chargesheeted for offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

In a separate money laundering case, the ED chargesheeted the Maran brothers, Kalanithi’s wife Kavery, managing director of SAFL K. Shanmugam, SAFL and Sun Direct TV under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).

The matter will be heard on 29 August.

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