Chennai/New Delhi, Oct 10: Spelling trouble for former Telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, CBI today searched his residence and nine other locations after registering a case against him in connection with the controversial Aircel-Maxis deal, alleging that he recieved Rs 547 crore as kickbacks from the Malaysian company.
The CBI has also accused his brother Kalanithi Maran, SUN Direct TV Pvt Director, Chairman of Maxis Communication T Ananda Krishnan, senior executive of Astro All Asia Network and Maxis Ralph Marshall and three companies Astro All Asia Networks, Sun Direct TV and Maxis Communications of complicity.
After registering the case, the agency carried out searches at the premises of Maran brothers in Delhi and Chennai and at the residence of Executive Director of Apollo Hospital Suneeta Reddy in Hyderabad.
It has been alleged by former Aircel Chief C Sivasankaran that Maran as the then Telecom Minister favoured Maxis-group in the takeover of his company and in return investments were made by the company through Astro network in Sun TV owned by Maran family.
Sources in the CBI claimed quid-pro-quo on part of the then Telecom Minister has been established during the probe. It has also been proved during the CBI probe that there is direct evidence that files of Sivasankaran were deliberately delayed, sources said.
“CBI has registered case against Maran brothers, Ralph Marshall and T Anandkrishnan and three companies under section 120b of IPC (criminal conspiracy) read with 13(2) with 13 (1)(d) and also section 7 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Case was registered on October 9. Searches were conducted at Delhi and Chennai,” CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said here.
Maxis Communications has 74 per cent share in the Aircel while 26 per cent is owned by Sindya Securities and Investments, according to Aircel web site. Reddy family is said to be stakeholders in Sindya Securities and Investments and its promoters, sources said.
The Apollo Hospitals in a statement had said,”Apollo Hospitals Group and its Chairman Dr Prathap C Reddy do not have any investment in Aircel or any other telecom company.”
“The Sindya Securities and Investments Pvt Ltd promoted by Mr P Dwarakanath Reddy and Mrs Suneeta Reddy have investments in Aircel entity and this is a strategic investment in telecom sector, which was a growing business opportunity,” the statement said.
The CBI has questioned Marshall, Reddy and Maran brothers but Krishnan needs to be questioned, CBI sources said. In its recent status report to the Supreme Court, CBI had said that during Maran's tenure there was “deliberate delay” to provide letter of intent to Sivasankaran.
The agency had said that after Aircel was sold to Maxis investments were made by the Malaysian firm into the family business of Marans.
Former aides of Maran had reportedly told CBI that the processing of the files of Sivasankaran was delayed allegedly at the direction of the minister, agency sources claimed.
It was also contended that Marshall held meetings with the telecom minister between 2005 and 2006. Sivasankaran had alleged that his applications for licences were rejected when Maran was telecom minister in 2006, forcing him to sell his company to Maxis, whose owner is considered to be close to Maran and his brother Kalanidhi, who owns Sun TV.
Later, Maran is alleged to have granted 14 licences to Dishnet Wireless (Aircel) during his tenure as the telecom minister. The allegations have been refuted by Maran. PTI