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Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi has given a legal opinion to the CBI saying there was enough evidence to prosecute former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanidhi Maran in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
This could spell trouble for the leader of DMK party, already under fire for pressurising the UPA government to appoint a "tainted-corrupt" person as the judge of Madras high court.
With his advice Rohatgi has overruled CBI director Ranjit Sinha who felt there wasn't sufficient prosecutable evidence to book Maran. Sources said Rohatgi perused the record and found there was enough material to show there was culpability and conspiracy to show Maran had forced Aircel owner Sivasankaran to sell his entire stake in the company to Malaysian businessman T Ananda Krishnan. CBI has said Maran forced the deal and entered into a quid-pro arrangement with Krishnan.
CBI sought the top law officer's advice after differences arose between Sinha and the agency's director of prosecution who believed investigators of the case had collected enough material to chargesheet the former telecom minister and his brother.
CBI had first asked for an opinion from former solicitor general Mohan Parasaran who wrote a letter in May this year expressing his inability to intervene in the matter. He said "it would be most appropriate that the matter is considered by the new government."
CBI, in its FIR filed in the case in 2011, had alleged that Maran as a telecom minister had coerced Sivasankaran to sell his entire stake in Aircel to Krishnan. In return, Maxis, the company owned by the Malaysian businessman, invested Rs 650 crores in Sun TV network, run by the Marans.