Former Aircel owner C Sivasankaran alleged during CBI questioning that it was the Brothers Maran — Dayanidhi and Kalanidhi — who had brought in the Malaysia-based Maxis as a prospective buyer.
According to CBI sources, the Marans had spoken to Sivasankaran about the need to sell the company to Maxis. Later, a sister concern of Maxis invested in the Maran family-owned Sun Direct TV.
Sources told HT on Tuesday that Sivasankaran said the telecom ministry, then under Dayanidhi, unnecessarily delayed issuing licences to Aircel. And once Aircel changed hands, it was allowed to operate in eight telecom circles.
But according to the sources, for the sake of fairness, investigators also need to find out why Sivasankaran is raising the issue more than five years after the deal. His statement was recorded on Monday by the CBI.
A CBI official, however, said, “These are still allegations, very serious allegations. We need to verify them. Sivasankaran has provided names of witnesses and documents. After crosschecking, we will approach Dayanidhi Maran at the right time.”
The sources said Sivasankaran wanted to hold on to a 51% stake in Aircel, but was told all his problems would be over if he pulled out. He has named the persons who negotiated with him.
“Sivasankaran has given us the names of some merchant bankers and lawyers who helped clinch the deal between Aircel and Maxis. Some of them live abroad. We will speak to them. It is some time before we decide upon filing a regular case in the matter,” a CBI official said.