A special court on Wednesday summoned former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and others in the 2006 Aircel-Maxis deal — as part of the larger 2G spectrum allocation scam case — asking them to appear before it on March 2 next year.
Presiding over the case, special court judge OP Saini said he had gone through the chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and found enough incriminating material to go ahead with the prosecution.
The CBI filed the chargesheet in August, saying they had evidence that Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran, Malaysian businessman T Ananda Krishnan and four others were involved in the dubious deal where Krishnan allegedly paid over Rs 3,390 crore for 74% equity in cellular services company Aircel. The telecom ministry granted Aircel licences to operate in 14 cash-rich circles.
“I have carefully gone through the copy of the first information report, chargesheet, statements of witnesses and related documents comprised in the voluminous record of the case,” the judge said. “I am satisfied that there is enough incriminating material on the record to proceed against the accused person.”
The CBI in its chargesheet said the former telecom minister used his influence to help Krishnan acquire Aircel by coercing its owner C Sivasankaran to part with his stake. The investigating agency booked all accused under charges of criminal conspiracy and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Sivasankaran alleged that Maran favoured the Maxis Group in the takeover of his company, saying Maxis in return, made investments through Astro Network in a company owned by the Maran family.
Four companies — Chennai-based Sun Direct TV, UK-based Astro All Asia Networks, Maxis Communications Berhad of Malaysia and the South Asia Entertainment Holdings of Mauritius — have been also named in the CBI chargesheet.