The CBI on Monday sought an arrest warrant against two Malaysia-based accused in the Aircel-Maxis case involving ex-telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran.
The probe agency moved the application before special judge OP Saini stating that the summons issued to Malaysian businessman T Ananda Krishnan and Malaysian national Augustus Ralph Marshall could not be served.
Besides the Maran brothers, Krishnan and Marshall, the court had also summoned four companies — Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd, Maxis Communication Berhad, South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd and Astro All Asia Network PLC — as accused in the CBI’s case.
During the day’s hearing, the Marans challenged the jurisdiction of the special 2G court to try the Aircel-Maxis deal-related money laundering case, stating that it was not part of the 2G spectrum scam and cannot be heard by the designated judge.
The court had earlier issued summons to accused while taking cognisance of the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) charge-sheet against the six accused under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
It had said that there was “enough incriminating material” to proceed against the accused.
Meanwhile, the ED on Monday opposed the bail plea of the Maran brothers, citing that the money laundering aspect is still being probed and the possibility of tampering with the evidence and influencing witnesses could not be ruled out.
The court has put up both the matters for hearing on August 27.
Kalanithi’s wife Kavery Kalanithi and K Shanmugam, the managing director of South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL) are also accused along with two firms, SAFL and Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL) in the case.
The accused were charge-sheeted for the offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
On August 29 last year, the CBI had filed the charge sheet in the case containing the names of 151 prosecution witnesses and a set of 655 documents, on which it has relied upon during its probe.
CBI had alleged in the court that Dayanidhi had “pressured” and “forced” Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006.
In ED’s case, its prosecutor N K Matta had earlier claimed that there were money transactions which allegedly showed that SDTPL and SAFL had received Rs 742.58 crore as “proceeds of crime” from Mauritius-based firms in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
The agency had claimed that “proceeds of crime” amounting to Rs 549.03 crore and Rs 193.55 crore were received by SDTPL and SAFL, allegedly controlled by co-accused Kalanithi, respectively through various Mauritius-based entities.
The ED prosecutor had referred to the details of money transactions between these firms and alleged that SDTPL had received Rs 549.03 crore from Mauritius-based firm M/s South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd.
ED had earlier alleged before the court that Dayanidhi had generated funds worth Rs 742.58 crore through illegal means and there was sufficient prima facie material to proceed against him and other accused in the case.
It had alleged that Dayanidhi had obtained “illegal gratification” of Rs 742.58 crore and the money was “parked” in the firms of Kalanithi by projecting it as untainted.
ED had also claimed that Kalanithi was controlling both SDTPL and SAFL, where the money was infused through Mauritius -based companies.