Based on the attorney general’s opinion that there was enough evidence to prosecute former telecommunications minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother in the Aircel-Maxis deal, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) may submit a chargesheet against them next month.
The CBI is yet to receive attorney general (AG) Mukul Rohatgi’s opinion that has to come via the law ministry. “We have not yet got the AG’s opinion, which is advisory in nature. When it comes, we will scrutinise the grounds and go ahead with the chargesheet within a month,” said a senior CBI official. The AG’s opinion held that the CBI has enough evidence to prosecute Maran as well as his brother Kalanidhi Maran.
The AG’s opinion has overruled CBI director Ranjit Sinha who felt there wasn’t sufficient prosecutable evidence to book Maran. Sources said the AG found that there was enough material to prove that Maran had allegedly forced Aircel owner Sivasankaran to sell his entire stake in the company to Malaysian businessman T Ananda Krishnan. CBI has said Maran alleged forced the deal and entered into a quid pro quo arrangement with Krishnan.
HT had first reported on April 25 that the CBI’s final report was ready. The report was awaiting clearance from the agency’s senior-most officials, following receipt of case-related details from United Kingdom (UK), Bermuda and Mauritius, to chargesheet Maran.
The probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal was started by the CBI after entrepreneur C Sivasankaran alleged that Maran as telecommunications minister between 2004 and 2007 deliberately delayed the grant of license to his firm Aircel in seven circles to ensure its exit from the business by constricting its business environment. But when the Malaysia-based Maxis group bought Aircel, its applications were allegedly accepted.