NEWDELHI: The CBI is likely to question former Union Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran in connection with the takeover of telecom service provider Aircel by Malaysian telecom company Maxis.
The probe agency has stated that Dayanidhi received kickbacks to the tune of `547 crore from Maxis following the closure of the deal. A team of CBI officers is currently in Malaysia for a meeting with Malaysian law enforcement agencies in Kuala Lumpur to seek information about Maxis in connection with the case.
The agency is also likely to question Ralph Marshall, non-executive director of Maxis, in connection with the case. The CBI registered a case against Dayanidhi Maran and Kalanithi Maran, directors of Sun TV Network, Astro All-Asia Networks (AAAN) director Ralph Marshall and Maxis chairman T Ananda Krishnan on October 9, 2011.
The accused have been booked for criminal conspiracy under IPC, and illegal gratification, misuse of official position under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
C Sivasankaran, former chairman of Aircel, gave a written complaint to the CBI stating that he was coerced by Dayanidhi to sell Aircel to Maxis group, when Dayanidhi was holding charge of the Telecom Ministry.
Before Sivasankaran sold his stake in Aircel in the year 2006, the Telecom Ministry kept on delaying and rejecting telecom licences to his company. Following the sale of Aircel to Maxis, the company was allotted 14 telecom licences by the ministry. In return, AAAN made investments of `547 crore in Sun TV, headed by Dayanidhi’s brother Kalanithi. CBI investigations have revealed that AAAN paid much higher price for the company’s shares than its prevailing market value. Last week, a special CBI court in Delhi issued Letter Rogatory to four countries, namely, Malaysia, Mauritius, United Kingdom and Tax Haven, Bermuda.
The CBI is probing details of financial transactions among Maxis, Sun TV and Astro All-Asia Networks.