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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Marans got Rs. 600cr bribe in Aircel deal, CBI to court

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 30, 2014
First Published: 01:10 IST(30/8/2014) | Last Updated: 01:52 IST(30/8/2014)

Former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran received a Rs. 600-crore bribe in the Aircel-Maxis deal, the CBI claimed Friday.

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The agency charged the DMK leader, his media baron brother Kalanidhi Maran and Malaysian business tycoon Ananda Krishnan with criminal conspiracy and corruption. The charge sheet, filed in the court of special CBI judge OP Saini, also named four companies — including Kalanidhi-promoted Sun Direct TV and South-East Entertainment Holdings Ltd, and Malaysia’s Maxis Communications — as well as Malaysian national Ralph Marshall and former telecom secretary JS Sharma, who has since passed away, as accused.

Dayanidhi — telecom minister from February 2004 to May 2007 — is accused of using his position to deny spectrum licences to Aircel, then owned by complainant Sivasankaran, hampering his business and finally forcing him to sell the company to Krishnan’s Maxis Communications in December 2006. Six months after the sale, the new venture was granted 2G licences.
 
CBI sources claimed that for this favour, Krishnan paid the Marans Rs. 600 crore, disguised as investment in Sun Direct TV and SE Entertainment. It alleged the money was laundered through Astro All Asia Network Plc, also named in the charge sheet.

The charge sheet came a day after the Supreme Court rejected Dayanidhi’s plea seeking to restrain the CBI from filing it.
 
The CBI court will take up the 72-page charge sheet on September 11. Along with it, the CBI has submitted 655 documents encased in nine sealed trunks and named 151 witnesses.
 
The Marans had denied all charges during their deposition before the CBI. The agency had earlier claimed its overseas probe was being delayed by Krishnan, who was using his political connections to slow it down.


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