The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned the Aircel-Maxis matter till the first week of April. Earlier on February 10, the Supreme Court gave Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy two weeks time to place credible material to prima facie prove that former finance minister P. Chidambaram deliberately granted Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006. Swamy was also asked whether Chidambaram knew that the limit was Rs. 600 crore. Thought Swamy pleaded to the Apex Court to investigate Chidambaram’s role in allowing Maxis to acquire 100 percent stake in Aircel, the Supreme Court refused to issue any notice, or to direct probe at this stage after noting you Swamy must bring some credible evidence into record.
On February 3, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had moved the top court against the special court’s order on Aircel-Maxis case which discharged Maran brothers and other accused without furnishing the bail bond properly. The ED had also urged the Apex Court to not release the properties attached in the case. Earlier, Subramanian Swamy presented his case of an illegality committed Chidambaram in granting FIPB clearance to the Rs. 3,500 crore deal in 2006. The Pataiala House Court on February 2 discharged former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran after it found insufficient evidence to prosecute them. Maran brothers were accused by investigating agencies of helping Malaysian group Maxis to acquire Aircel in exchange for a kickback of approximately Rs. 700 crore.
The court also discharged Kalanithi’s wife Kavery Kalanithi, South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL) Managing Director K. Shanmugam and two companies — SAFL and Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL) in two different cases. The CBI Court on December 19 last year deferred pronouncing its orders against the Maran brothers and others to December 22. A special 2G court had earlier on September 17 last year dismissed the applications filed by the ex-telecom minister and his brother, challenging its jurisdiction to try the Aircel-Maxis deal case in which they have been summoned as accused. Pronouncing the order, the court had then said, “There is no manner of doubt that by the standard of subject matter and periodicity of alleged crime, the case fairly/squarely falls within the description/ designation of the 2G scam.”
The Maran brothers challenged the jurisdiction of the special 2G court in both cases lodged by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI. The Enforcement Directorate alleged that two firms, South Asia FM Limited (SAFL) and Sun Direct TV Private Ltd. (SDTPL), had received Rs. 742.58 crore as “proceeds of crime” from Mauritius-based firms and that the two firms were then allegedly controlled by Kalanithi Maran.