The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to file status reports by January 23 in connection with their probe in cases including the Aircel-Maxis deal, arising out of the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to file status reports by January 23 in connection with their probe in cases including the Aircel-Maxis deal, arising out of the 2G spectrum allocation scam. Special public prosecutor in 2G cases Anand Grover told the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra that Karti Chidambaram’s role in the Aircel-Maxis deal getting FIPB approval, when his father P Chidambaram was the finance minister, is only pending now. The CBI had accused Karti of receiving illegal gratification from the deal. He said that the special CBI court had in February last year acquitted Dayanidhi Maran and Sun TV promoter Kalanithi Maran in a case in which the former telecom minister and his brother were accused of forcing C Sivasankaran to sell his stake in Indian telco Aircel to Malaysia’s Maxis in 2006, as part of a quid pro quo in the form of bribes. Besides, the CBI court had in October 2015 also discharged former telecom secretary Shyamal Ghosh, Bharti Cellular, Hutchison Max Pvt Ltd and Sterling Cellular from the additional spectrum allocation case, saying the chargesheet in the case was “false and fabricated”. Even around 35 accused including former telecom minister and DMK MP Kanimozhi were acquitted in the 2G spectrum case last month, Grover said. Grover also requested the apex court to instruct the CBI to file an appeal in the additional spectrum case. While the investigative agency had sought the opinion of the law ministry on filing of an appeal, the latter had only approved filing of a limited appeal in the case, like removing some remarks against the erring investigating officers.
The SC was hearing a plea by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking prosecution of many in the Aircel-Maxis deal case. Swamy had alleged that in 2006, a company controlled by Karti received a 5% share of Aircel to get part of Rs 4,000 crore, paid by Maxis for a 74% stake in Aircel. Karti had last year refused to appear before the CBI, saying that the trial court had discharged all the accused and terminated the proceedings in the matter.