rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » 2G scam claims one more: Dayanidhi Maran quits

2G scam claims one more: Dayanidhi Maran quits

Last updated on: July 7, 2011 14:28 IST

2G scam claims one more: Dayanidhi Maran quits

     Next

Next

The 2G spectrum allocation scandal has claimed yet another ministerial head.

Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran, who has been implicated by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the 2G scam probe, resigned from his post on Thursday, just hours after attending a meeting of the Union Cabinet.

He is the second minister to quit after former telecom minister A Raja, who is now in Tihar jail.

Maran is said to have handed over his resignation to the prime minister, who he met twice today, once just after the Cabinet meeting and again later in the afternoon.

NDTV reported that Maran's exit from the Cabinet had been sanctioned by Maran's grand-uncle and DMK supremo, M Karunanidhi. The television channel also said that the DMK boss has picked T R Baalu to replace Maran in the Cabinet.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Image: Former Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran.
Photographs: Reuters
     Next

2G scam claims one more: Dayanidhi Maran quits

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Maran is likely to fly back to Chennai later in the evening.

Earlier, a minister, who declined to be identified, replied in the negative when asked whether Maran has resigned or has offered to resign.

On Wednesday, the CBI placed a status report on the 2G scam probe in the Supreme Court in which it alleged that Maran had 'forced' Aircel owner to sell its stakes in favour of a Malaysian firm which was granted spectrum licence.

Later, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters that Maran was present "like all of us were."

With the Central Bureau of Investigation telling the Supreme Court on Wednesday that Maran had misused his office and forced C Sivasankaran, the promoter of Chennai-based Aircel, to sell his firm to Malaysia-based Maxis Communications in 2006, it was almost certain that Maran would have to go.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Image: (Inset) C Sivasankaran.
Photographs: Reuters
Prev     Next

2G scam claims one more: Dayanidhi Maran quits

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Maran has rubbished the allegations, but is under fire for allegedly striking a deal with Sri Lankan-born Anand Krishnan, the promoter of Maxis, and for also roping in the Reddy family of Apollo Hospitals as a co-investor in the deal.

The allegation is that in return, Maxis invested about Rs 600 crore (Rs 6 billion) in Kalanidhi Maran's Sun TV. Maran had said this allegation, too, is baseless.

The agency, which placed its 71-page fresh status report about the 2G scam, said that during 2004-07 when Maran was telecom Minister, the promoter C Sivasankaran, was forced to sell the stake in Aircel to a Malaysian firm Maxis Group.

Senior advocate K K Venugopal, who read the status report before a bench of justice G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly on Wednesday, did not take Maran's name but stated that the Chennai business man was not granted UAS licence for two years.

It said that the Malaysian firm was favoured by Maran and was granted licence within six months after taking over the Aircel in December 2006. Maran was the Telecom Minister between February 2004 and May, 2007.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Photographs: Reuters
Prev     Next

2G scam claims one more: Dayanidhi Maran quits

Prev     More
Prev

More

"The gentleman (promoter of Aircel) had been knocking at various doors but was left with no choice but to sell his shares to a Malaysian form," said Venugopal, representing CBI, while reading out from the status report that was filed in a sealed cover.

Earlier, an NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, had placed documents before the ape/x court showing the alleged role of Maran in favouring Maxis group of Malaysia which had bought Chennai-based telecom company, Aircel, owned by Siva Group, when he was Telecom Minister from 2004 to 2007.

The CBI also assured the Supreme Court that it would complete probe into the money trail in the 2G spectrum scandal by August 31.

The investigative agency also said before the court that it would complete the probe into all the irregularities in spectrum allocation during 2001 to 2008 within 3 months.

So after former telecom minister A Raja's arrest, another high profile minister's involvement is being debated in the 2G scam. The Public Accounts Committee chairman Murli Manohar Joshi too said Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran played a crucial role in starting the 2G spectrum scam.

According to Joshi, Maran was instrumental in changing the spectrum pricing while he was the telecom minister. All the powers vested with the group of ministers on spectrum pricing were transferred to the telecom department. This is how India's biggest scam was born.


Photographs: Reuters
Prev     More