Dayanidhi — telecom minister from February 2004 to May 2007 — is accused of using his position to deny spectrum licences to Aircel, then owned by complainant Sivasankaran, hampering his business and finally forcing him to sell the company to Krishnan’s Maxis Communications in December 2006. Six months after the sale, the new venture was granted 2G licences. CBI sources claimed that for this favour, Krishnan paid the Marans Rs. 600 crore, disguised as investment in Sun Direct TV and SE Entertainment. It alleged the money was laundered through Astro All Asia Network Plc, also named in the charge sheet.
The charge sheet came a day after the Supreme Court rejected Dayanidhi’s plea seeking to restrain the CBI from filing it. The CBI court will take up the 72-page charge sheet on September 11. Along with it, the CBI has submitted 655 documents encased in nine sealed trunks and named 151 witnesses. The Marans had denied all charges during their deposition before the CBI. The agency had earlier claimed its overseas probe was being delayed by Krishnan, who was using his political connections to slow it down.