Aircel-Maxis deal: CBI closes in on Maran, ex-secy grilled | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Aircel-Maxis deal: CBI closes in on Maran, ex-secy grilled

delhi Updated: Jul 23, 2011 00:01 IST
Rajesh Ahuja

The CBI is inching closer to the questioning former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran in connection with its probe into the Aircel-Maxis deal.

The CBI has examined Maran's former private secretary (PS) and IAS officer K Sanjay Murthy to shed light on the circumstances in which entrepreneur C Sivasankaran was forced to sell his company Aircel allegedly under pressure from the former telecom minister.

Sivasankaran has alleged the telecom ministry under Dayanidhi Maran deliberately delayed clearance of his company's applications for telecom licences.

According to Sivasankaran's statement to the CBI once he sold Aircel to Malaysia-based Maxis group, his former company was granted licences and later Astro, a company of Maxis group, invested in Sun Direct, a direct to home venture of Sun TV Network that is promoted by Dayanidhi's brother Kalanidhi.

Murthy, a Himachal Pradesh cadre IAS officer, was private secretary to Dayanidhi Maran during the relevant period. He is now posted as a director in the Himachal government.

According to CBI sources, they are in the process of checking the veracity of allegations levelled by Sivasankaran against Maran.

So far they have examined around half-a-dozen officials from the DoT to get details on the circumstances in which applications of Aircel's sister concern Dishnet were handled.

Apart from DoT officials, they have also examined two senior executives of Standard Chartered bank. The Standard Chartered bank brokered the deal between Aircel and Maxis.

"We cannot take Sivasankaran's allegations on face-value. We want to double check each and every aspect of deal before going ahead with filing an FIR in the matter. Definitely, we will seek clarification of Dayanidhi Maran as well and examining his PS is a logical step in that direction," said a source.