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CBI claims Dayanidhi pressured promoter to sell Aircel stakes

Source: PTI
October 18, 2016 20:19 IST
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He was chargesheeted for the offences punishable under section 120-B

Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran had "pressurised" Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006, the CBI claimed before a special court on Tuesday.

CBI made the submissions before Special Judge O P Saini while advancing arguments on framing of charges against accused Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and others in the Aircel-Maxis case.

Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover also claimed that Dayanidhi had forced Sivasankaran to sell his three companies to Malaysia's Maxis Communication Berhad, also an accused in the case.

CBI's arguments remained inconclusive and would continue on Wednesday.

The court had earlier held it had the jurisdiction to try the matter against Maran brothers and others as the Aircel-Maxis deal "fairly and squarely falls within the description of 2G scam".

The court's order had come as it dismissed the pleas of the Maran brothers and other accused challenging jurisdiction of the special 2G court to try two cases filed by CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Aircel-Maxis deal, claiming that these matters did not directly or indirectly fall into the category of 2G spectrum cases.

CBI had filed charge sheet against the Maran brothers, 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, and M/s South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd, Malaysia and then additional secretary (Telecommunications) late J S Sarma.

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

All the accused persons have also moved bail pleas which are pending before the court.

The court had on September 24, issued open warrants of arrest against Krishnan and Marshall on CBI's plea stating that summons issued to them could not be served.

The court had also ordered that the trial against Maran brothers and two accused companies be segregated from that of those based in Malaysia - Krishnan, Marshall, and two firms, Astro All Asia Network PLC and Maxis Communication Berhad, saying their appearance may take a long time which may lead to a delay in the proceedings.

Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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