Former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and four others moved a special court for bail on Monday in connection with the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.
Besides the Maran brothers, Kalanithi’s wife Kavery, and K Shanmugam, managing director of South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL), also moved their bail applications before Special CBI Judge OP Saini, after which the court issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and adjourned the case till July 21.
The court had on February 27 summoned the four people and two firms — SAFL and Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL) — as accused in the case.
The summonses were issued by the court in cognisance of the ED’s charge-sheet against the six accused under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The court noted that there was “enough incriminating material” to proceed against the accused, and asked the investigating agency to file fresh complaints, if required.
During arguments earlier, special prosecutor NK Matta claimed that there were transactions that allegedly showed that SDTPL and SAFL, both allegedly controlled by co-accused Kalanithi Maran, received Rs 742.58 crore as “proceeds of crime” from Mauritius-based firms in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
SDTPL, the prosecutor said, received Rs 549.03 crore from Mauritius-based firm M/s South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd. Earlier the ED had said Dayanidhi obtained “illegal gratification” of Rs 742.58 crore and the money was “parked” in the Kalanithi’s firms by projecting it as untainted.
In August 2014, the CBI too had charge-sheeted the Maran brothers, Malaysian businessman T Ananda Krishnan, Malaysian national Augustus Ralph Marshall and four companies — SDTPL, Maxis Communication Berhad, South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd and Astro All Asia Network PLC — in the case.
The CBI alleged that Dayanidhi “forced” Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stake in Aircel and two subsidiary companies to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006.
All the accused have denied the charges levelled against them.