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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 08, 2012
The CBI told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that its investigation into the Aircel-Maxis deal, allegedly involving former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran, was getting delayed due to the political clout of Malaysian business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan. Maran was accused of “forcing” Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell stake in Aircel to the c owned by Kuala Lumpur-based Krishnan, in 2006. “The gentleman in Malaysia, who is involved in the case, is powerful economically as well as politically,” CBI counsel and senior advocate KK Venugopal told the court, adding that the Indian part of the probe was complete.

Venugopal said the Malaysian government had turned down the CBI’s request to share details of the business tycoon's financial transactions. He made this statement while presenting the CBI's fresh status report on the Aircel-Maxis deal.

After perusing the report, a special bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice KS Radhakrishnan said the investigations indicate the presence of an illegal nexus.

Stating that it would give directions to the Indian High Commission in Malaysia if the CBI continued to face any more problems in this regard, the bench said it was keen on seeing the probe reach a logical conclusion as soon as possible. The court wants the day-to-day hearing to start from January.

Maran allegedly kept vital licences and clearances of Aircel pending till Sivasankaran agreed to sell his firm to Maxis. The CBI is also checking if Maxis had then invested R500 crore in Sun Direct TV, owned by Maran’s brother Kalanidhi, as a quid pro quo.

In another case, the SC took strong exception to the UP government initiating action against a senior enforcement directorate officer, Rajeshwar Singh, tasked with probing the 2G scam. The court then stayed the proceedings against him.

The SC had initiated contempt proceedings against Sahara chief Subrata Roy for allegedly interfering with the investigation. The bench also said Singh required protection.

Referring to the action taken by the UP government, it said the charges against Singh were made to prevent him from conducting the probe fearlessly.