Dayanidhi forced Aircel's promoter to sell his stake to Maxis: CBI
The CBI today implicated former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran in the status report of the 2G spectrum scam saying that the initial enquiry revealed that Maran deliberately sat on Aircel's licence application.
CBI today accused Dayanidhi Maran, former Telecom Minister, of forcing the promoter of Chennai-based telecom company Aircel to sell his firm to a Malaysian company in 2006. Dayanidhi's ex telecom secretary Nripendra Mishra has told the CBI that Maran targeted Aircel to benefit his brother's company Sun TV.
Initial reports by the CBI reveal that Dayanidhi deliberately sat on Aircel's licence application and delayed the file inspite of a unanimous vote by Department of Telecom officials. The investigating agency also said that there was "an element of coercion" in the manner in which Aircel was sold to Mr Ananda Krishnan's Maxis empire.
The allegation against Maran is that Aircel, previously denied a telecom licence for over two years, was allotted one when its owners changed hands to Malaysia-based Maxis.
Mishra has told CBI that Maran had indeed stalled granting of licences to Aircel owner Shivasankaran. CBI sources say Sun TV group owned by Maran's brother Kalanithi benefited to the tune of Rs 760 crore due to Maran's tactics.
Maran, who is Textiles Minister, has reportedly been under considerable pressure to resign on account of his alleged involvement in the scam. According to media reports, he has also been under pressure to quit the Cabinet. A few days ago he also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ahead of the much-awaited Cabinet reshuffle. Maran, however denies having discussed the allegations against him with the PM.
CBI assures the court of completing probe into money trail in the 2G scam by 31 August .
Aircel founder Shivasankaran had earlier testified that Maran had repeateldy denied granting telecom licences to him and forced him into selling his stake in Aircel to benefit his own brother Kalanithi Maran.
Last month Maran, however, denied that Sun TV had benefited from any pay-offs by the Malaysian firm once the equity changed hands.
CBI also said that Essar—another telecom company— is likely to be charged in the telecom scam. The CBI said that prima facie it had evidence to show that Loop Telecom acted as a front company of Essar. Till date senior executives of Anil Ambani owned Reliance Communication and Unitech Wireless have been imprisoned for acquiring licences at throw away prices.
Media reports say CBI is likely to appeal in the Supreme Court against the special court order