Embattled textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran's resignation on Thursday was a culmination in a series of exposes by Hindustan Times over the last five months.
On February 15, Hindustan Times in front-page story headlined "Sun TV shone on Aircel deal?" for the first time established a link between the delay in granting licences to Aircel and investments by the Malaysia-based Maxis group in Sun Direct TV, a start-up promoted by the Maran family.
Sun Direct TV received R675 crore from the Maxis group for a 20% stake valuing the DTH company at $750 million ( R3,375 crore).The story set the ground for investigations by the CBI.
Investigations by HT found that Maran, as telecom minister between 2004 and 2007, violated almost all the established procedures and rules to block licences to Aircel that prompted the original promoter C Sivasankaran to exit from the venture by selling his entire stake to T Ananda Krishnan, owner of Maxis a close family and business associate to the Marans.
A June 2 story headlined "Maran bent telecom rules to help friend," followed by a June 7 story how Maran concentrated all powers to grant spectrum to telecom and DTH companies in himself.
Another story in the June 9 edition of HT showed how Maran flouted the first-come-first-served (FCFS) rule in granting spectrum to Aircel.
These were followed by two stories on June 16 and June 24 clearly establishing how "Maran flouted TRAI rules to give Aircel licences" and how Maran blocked permission to allow Sivasankaran to sell his stake to Hutchison.