In one of its most damning charges in the 2G scam, the CBI alleged that former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran had received Rs. 550 crore for forcing Aircel to sell out to Maxis Communications of Malaysia.
A combination picture shows former Union textile minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanidhi Maran, owner of SUN television.
An FIR, filed by the agency on Sunday, gave intricate details of how Aircel owner C Sivasankaran had been forced to sell his company to Maxis, owned by T Ananda Krishnan, a long-time friend of the Maran brothers.
As reported first by Hindustan Times in 'Sun TV shone on Aircel deal' on February 14 this year, the FIR said Sun Direct TV - owned by the former minister's brother Kalanithi - got Rs. 550 crore from Maxis for facilitating the sale of Aircel and its sister concern, Dishnet Wireless Ltd.
The former minister, however, did not answer the text messages or calls from HT seeking his comments on the CBI charge.
Enquiry revealed that the intervention of Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran in restricting the business environment for Siva group, change of ownership to Maxis and undue favours post this change was for mala fide considerations.
Dayanidhi Maran, grand nephew of DMK chief M Karunanidhi, resigned from the union cabinet after his interrogation by the CBI in the 2G spectrum case in July.
Narrating the details of how the deal was inked, the CBI states that in October 2005, Maxis asked its banker Standard Chartered to discuss with Aircel a 100% takeover bid. A conference call was held between the bank and Maxis CEO Ralph Marshall and owner Ananda Krishnan.
During the conversation, Marshall told the Aircel owner that he had taken "clearance from the Maran brothers for taking over Aircel and all his problems would be solved."
Sivasankaran then got a call from the former minister "instructing" him to work out the details of the sale with Maxis. Later at a meeting in Chennai on November 12, 2005, Kalanithi told Sivasankaran to sell his company to Maxis.
On the same day Sivasankaran received a call from the minister "directing" him to sell 100% equity of Aircel to Maxis and assured him of clearing the deal.
Sivasankaran sold Aircel to Maxis shortly after that.