New Delhi, Feb 2: Former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran were discharged in the Aircel-Maxis case. have been discharged in the Aircel-Maxis case. The Patiala House court discharged them and the other accused in both cases that were probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.
The court was to frame charges against former telecom minister, Dayanidhi and his brother Kalanithi. The court however found no ground to proceed against Maran and the rest of the accused. The court also cited the lack of evidence while passing the order.
The ED had alleged that two firms, South Asia FM Limited and Sun Direct TV Private Ltd had received Rs 742.58 crore as proceeds of the crime from Mauritius based firms. The two firms were then allegedly controlled by Kalainithi, the investigation had claimed.
In this case, the ED had also chargesheeted Kalanithi's wife Kavery, managing director of South Asia FM Ltd K Shanmugam, SAFL and Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The case filed by the CBI accused Dayanidhi of pressurising Chennai based telecom promoter C Shivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Maxis group. The accused had however denied these charges in court.
In the chargesheet the CBI had apart from the Maran brothers named Ralph Marshall, T Ananda Krishnan, M/s Sun Direct TV (P) Ltd, M/s Astro All Asia Networks Plc, UK, M/s Maxis Communications Berhad, Malaysia, M/s South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd, Malaysia and then additional secretary (telecom) late J S Sarma.
Reacting to the verdict a relieved Dayanidhi Maran said, "Very happy with the order. Let me absorb this news. It is a big moment, let us savour it."
It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had taken strong exception to the fact that the owner of the Malaysian firm Axis, Ananda Krishnan had not honoured the summons issued by the court after the CBI had filed a chargesheet in the Aircel-Maxis scam. The court had restrained Maxis from earning any revenue from Aircel-Maxis's 65 million mobile phone connections till further orders. This case is likely to be heard on Friday.