A special court will pronounce on Tuesday next its order on framing charge against former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and others in the Aircel-Maxis deal case lodged by CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Special Judge O.P. Saini, who was scheduled to pass the order today on framing of charge as well as on bail applications of the Maran brothers and other accused persons, deferred it to January 24, saying the order is yet to be prepared.
All the accused have denied the allegations against them made by the investigating agencies and have moved bail pleas. During the arguments on the framing of charge, Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover had claimed that Dayanidhi had “pressurised” Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006. The charge was strongly refuted by Dayanidhi.
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CBI had filed a charge sheet against the Maran brothers, Ralph Marshall, T Ananda Krishnan, 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) late J S Sarma. They were charge sheeted for alleged offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
In the money laundering case, ED has chargesheeted as accused the Maran brothers, Kalanithi’s wife Kavery, Managing Director of South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL) K Shanmugam, SAFL and Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL) under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The court had summoned the six accused after taking cognisance of the ED’s charge sheet, saying there was “enough incriminating material” to proceed against them.