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Government leaves Maran case to CBI and JPC

Source: PTI
June 04, 2011 02:33 IST
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The government is understood to have left it to the Central Bureau of Investigation and Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into the alleged irregularities in the grant of licences to Aircel, which is owned by Maxis Telecom of Malaysia, and the involvement of former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran in it.

Maran, who is now Textiles Minister from DMK, is facing allegations of bending rules for granting 14 licences to Dishnet Wireless (now Aircel) during his tenure as telecom minister between 2004 and 2007.

Sources in the telecom ministry said that report of the one man Shivraj Patil committee, which also went into the procedures followed by the DoT from 2001 onwards in grant of licence and spectrum allocation, was handed over to the CBI in February.

Sources pointed out, however, that Aircel applied for licences before the UPA 1 came to power and DoT officials had raised some objections against the application.

Patil report, on the other hand, had pointed out unnecessary delay in grant of licences to Aircel. According to allegations, Maran family-owned Sun TV Network was a beneficiary of pay-offs by an overseas telecom firm and the CBI has started a "preliminary investigation" against Maran.

As per the lawsuit, after Aircel was taken over Maxis, Sun TV received substantial investment from Maxis Group, which took 20 per cent equity in Sun Direct.

Meanwhile, Maran has said he did not favour any company in granting UASL licence when he was telecom minister, even as political parties BJP and AIADMK have called for his resignation on this issue.

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