2G: Dayanidhi Maran's pitfall; alleged of blocking Aircel

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Dayandihi Maran

New Delhi, Oct 14: Dayandihi Maran, former telecom minister sat on the Aircel file for 44 days without taking any action against the recommendations put forward by the Department of Telecom (DoT), alleged the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

DoT had recommended that the LoIs (Letters of Intent) be issued to former Aircel chief, Sivasankaran's firm so that licences be granted for the UP West and UP East and extension of LoI in the MP circle. The FIR also alleges that the then telecom minister sought clarifications through K Sanjay Murthy, his private secretary.

"No such queries were raised in the case of Reliance Communications and Bharti Airtel which were issued UAS licences at the same times," said the FIR.

The CBI alleges that Dayandihi Maran knowingly delayed issuing permit licences to Aircel in seven circles with an aim to force its exit from the business by squeezing its business environment. Aircel was however bought by a Malaysia based company, Maxis and its approvals and applications for licences were accepted.

The FIR also claims that C Sivasankaran's repeated request for appointment with Maran also yielded no result as he declined to meet him.

"Maran, after retaining the file for 44 days with him, sought clarifications through his PS K Sanjay Murthy through frivolous and uncalled for objections.

"The fair value report dated June 1, 2007 by M/s ENAM Securities Pvt Ltd prepared on the request of Astro All Asia in respect of Sun Direct indicated its enterprise value between Rs 3,456 crore and Rs 4,039 crore. The fair value of Sun Direct in 2007 was approximately Rs 400 crore. No market survey/valuation was done to arrive at the correct value of Sun Direct. The value of non-operational company was shown more than Tata Sky, which was valued at Rs 2,500 crore. The enquiry has revealed that investment in Sun Direct by Astro was not truly a commercial business decision, but an arrangement to transfer funds to this company as quid pro quo," said the FIR.

"After the Maxis (through M/s Sindya Securities and M/s Global Communication) bought Aircel from Sivasankaran, illegal gratification was paid by M/s Astro Asia Networks to Sun Direct Tv of Kalanithi Maran in the garb of purchase of its shares at a premium of Rs 69.57 per share.

"Delays in allocation of licences to Dishnet and allocation of spectrum to it for various circles resulted in a loss of revenue to DoT which could have accrued to it by way of entry fee, licence fee and spectrum charges," it added.

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