The Aircel-Maxis deal is likely to come under the Enforcement Directorate (ED) scanner for suspected violations of the foreign exchange management act (Fema).
According to sources, its being suspected that Malaysia-based Maxis group holds more than 74% stake in Aircel as its filings in the Malaysian stock exchange show that it has 99.3% “economic interest” in Aircel.
As per foreign investment norms, a foreign partner cannot hold more than 74% stake in a telecom company.
According to sources, ED might investigate the deal for alleged violations of Fema norms regarding transfer or issue of security by a person resident out India.
According to sources, the ED plans to check whether the deal was in accordance to approvals from the secretariat of industrial assistance, department of industrial policy and promotion and the foreign investment promotion board.
The CBI is already investigating the Aircel-Maxis deal on basis of statement given by former Aircel promoter C Sivasankaran. Sivasankaran has alleged that when Dayanidhi Maran was telecom minister, he was “coerced and blackmailed” to sell his company to Maxis.
Sivasankaran has told the CBI sleuths that the telecom ministry under Maran didn’t clear Aircel’s applications for licences till he exited from the company.
The CBI is investigating the Aircel-Maxis deal in connection with its probe into the alleged violations of telecom policy between 2001 and 2007. The CBI plans to register an FIR in the matter very soon. But the CBI is planning to de-link “coercion and blackmail” part of the matter with the alleged violation of telecom policy.
“The probe agency favours a police probe in the coercion and blackmail aspect of the matter. So far the no final decision has been taken. The CBI has not written any letter to police in this regard. But its being contemplated that the aspect limited to coercion and blackmail should be investigated by police,” a CBI official clarified.