In a major development in the ongoing probe into the Aircel-Maxis deal, the CBI has got a reply for its Letter Rogatory (LR) sent to the Malaysian authorities on the alleged violation of foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in the highly controversial deal.
CBI sources said that according to the information passed on by Kuala Lumpur, the FDI rules had been violated in Maxis acquiring majority stake in Aircel by buying up shares from business moghul S Sivasankaran. However, the investigation agency needs more information from the Malaysian authorities before filing the chargesheet.
The CBI had in October 2011 registered a case against former Union Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran, Maxis Communications managing director T Ananda Krishnan and Ralph Marshall, director, Maxis Communications for criminal conspiracy and under Section 7 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
It was alleged that Maran in his capacity as then Telecommunications Minister allegedly forced Chennai-based Sivasankaran to sell off his stake in Aircel to Maxis.
Apparently as a quid pro quo for the favour, which helped Maxis to make an entry into the Indian Telecom sector by riding on the Aircel brand, the company made investments to the tune of ` 547 crore in Astro network owned by Maran.
Sivaanskaran had alleged that Aircel’s bid to secure licence was repeatedly thwarted by Maran,which eventually forced him to sell his majority stake in the company to Maxis Communication. But the Marans have strenuously denied the allegations.