The Delhi High Court today sought responses from former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother and industrialist Kalanithi Maran and others on a CBI plea challenging their discharge in the Aircel-Maxis graft case. Justice I S Mehta issued the notices on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) plea against the February 2 order of a special court discharging all the accused in the case. The high court asked the Maran brothers to respond to the plea and fixed the matter for hearing on August 29.
The special court, while discharging all the accused, had said no prima facie case warranting framing of charges was made out against them on the basis of the material placed on record before it. The high court had earlier sought responses from the Maran brothers on a separate plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate challenging their discharge in a Aircel-Maxis deal related money laundering case.
The CBI, in its case, had filed a chargesheet against the Maran brothers, Ralph Marshall, T Ananda Krishnan and four firms — M/s Sun Direct TV (P) Ltd, M/s Astro All Asia Networks Plc, UK, M/s Maxis Communications Berhad, Malaysia, M/s South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd, Malaysia — and then Additional Secretary (Telecom) J S Sarma who died during the course of the probe.
They were chargesheeted for alleged offence of criminal conspiracy under the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The February 2 order of the trial court, however, had no effect on the two accused Malaysian nationals — Ralph Marshall and T Ananda Krishnan — in the CBI’s case as it has already segregated the proceedings against them from that of the Maran brothers and others.