'Politically powerful person hampering probe in Aircel deal'

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Dayanidhi Maran
New Delhi, Nov 7: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today told the Supreme Court that a financially and politically powerful person is hampering the enquiry in the Aircel-Maxis deal.

Filing its status report on the probe, the CBI said that the probe into the charges against former Telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran in the Aircel-Maxis deal has been completed in India but the agency has not been able to proceed with the investigations in Malaysia and Mauritius.

The CBI said that a financially and politically powerful person is behind the efforts to stymie the probe in Malaysia. The agency's requests for information or help have been thwarted repeatedly and instead the Malaysian authorities come up with new questions each time just to delay the probe, the SC was informed.

Perusing the CBI's status report, the bench of Justices GS Singhvi and KS Radhakrishnan observed: "Prima facie, there appears to be a nexus."

The agency has accused Dayanidhi Maran of compelling the erstwhile owner of Aircel, C Sivasankaran, to sell all his shares in the telecom firm to a Malaysian company Maxis Communications in 2006.

Happy that he had illegally taken over Aircel, Maxis honcho T Ananda Krishnan soon invested Rs 549 crore in Sun Direct that is owned by Dayanidhi's brother Kalanithi as a quid pro quo.

The CBI said that Maran not only delayed grant of licences in 7 telecom circles to Aircel on "frivolous grounds" just to force Sivasankaran out of the telecom business, he also gave "undue favours" to Maxis after it acquired ownership of Aircel.

A Maxis employee named Ralph Marshall was in constant touch with Dayanidhi and Kalanithi on behalf of Ananda Krishnan prior to the latter acquiring ownership of Aircel, the agency said.

The Department of Telecom that had ignored Aircel's repeated pleas for approvals, when Sivasankaran was in charge, suddenly started favouring Maxis, the CBI said. The agency lodged an FIR against Dayanidhi Maran in Oct 2011.

OneIndia News

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