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Court slams CBI for delaying Aircel-Maxis case

A special court today lashed out at CBI for trying to make "mockery of the court" and delaying proceedings in the Aircel-Maxis deal case by filing "incomplete" application seeking issuance of arrest warrant against two Malaysia based accused.

By: | New Delhi | Published: September 21, 2016 8:27 PM
Special Judge O P Saini made the observations as he noted that the oral submissions made by CBI counsel regarding the procedure for issuance of Red Corner Notice (RCN) by the Interpol, were not mentioned in its written application filed before the court earlier. (Reuters) Special Judge O P Saini made the observations as he noted that the oral submissions made by CBI counsel regarding the procedure for issuance of Red Corner Notice (RCN) by the Interpol, were not mentioned in its written application filed before the court earlier. (Reuters)

A special court today lashed out at CBI for trying to make “mockery of the court” and delaying proceedings in the Aircel-Maxis deal case by filing “incomplete” application seeking issuance of arrest warrant against two Malaysia based accused.

Special Judge O P Saini made the observations as he noted that the oral submissions made by CBI counsel regarding the procedure for issuance of Red Corner Notice (RCN) by the Interpol, were not mentioned in its written application filed before the court earlier.

“I have no hesitation in saying that you (CBI) are delaying the proceedings in the case. … Seems like you are making mockery of the court. I have wasted 3-4 days on the issue.

“Had you explained the procedure regarding the Interpol and RCN earlier, I would have passed the order on issuance of the warrant… Your application is not complete,” the court said.

It posted the matter for order on the plea for September 24.

During the hearing, CBI told the court that “issuance of the arrest warrant was the only recourse available in the case to ensure the presence of the accused, business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan and Malaysian national Augustus Ralph Marshall, as the Malaysian authorities have refused to serve the summons upon them which were issued earlier by the court.”

“The only recourse today is the warrant, bailable or non-bailable, if the case has to proceed since the summons could not be delivered. Issue arrest warrant as the Malaysian authorities have said that they cannot issue summons to the accused in this case. Malaysian Attorney General has taken a view that there is no criminality against the accused in this matter,” the CBI counsel said during the proceedings.

He stressed that the court “has to compel their (accused) presence. If they don’t appear before the court, the proceeding cannot commence. We have to go through the Malaysian authorities. Now since the summons cannot be issued, issue the arrest warrant which will go with the Red Corner Notice via Interpol.”

Besides former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, Krishnan and Marshall, the court had also summoned the politician’s brother Kalanithi and four companies — South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd, Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd and Malaysia -based firms Astro All Asia Network PLC and Maxis Communication Berhad — as accused in the case.

The CBI counsel also claimed that the Malaysian authorities were asking “exhaustive questions which they have no business to ask. It seems they are trying the case themselves”.

“The Malaysian Attorney General has made up his mind. He has indicated that CBI’s request fails to satisfy conditions for issuing summonses. He has come to the view that there is no due criminality. How do we now bring them to India to stand trial? The court will have to issue arrest warrants,” counsel claimed in the court.

The CBI had on August 1 approached the court seeking issuance of arrest warrant against both the Malaysia based individuals. It had claimed that the summons could not be served on them.

The accused were chargesheeted for the offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

On August 29 last year, the CBI had filed the charge sheet containing names of 151 prosecution witnesses and a set of 655 documents, on which it has relied upon during its probe.

CBI had alleged that Dayanidhi had “pressured” and “forced” Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006.

The court had on September 17 dismissed the pleas moved by Marans and others challenging the jurisdiction of the special 2G court to try two cases filed by CBI and Enforcement Directorate in relation to the deal, claiming that these matters did not directly or indirectly fall into the category of 2G spectrum cases.

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