NEW DELHI: In what could be a setback for the Sun TV, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to immediately hear a plea by Maran family in which they had challenged the attachment of its nearly Rs 742 crore assets by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
As soon as senior counsel Kapil Sibal mentioned the case before a bench, headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu, he refused to pass any order and said “let it come in due course”.
Sibal informed the court that the Sun TV had moved the Madras High Court against the attachment order, but it refused to interfere with it, saying that the apex court was seized of the matter and has barred other courts from entertaining any plea rooted in 2G matters.
The case is likely to come up on July 10. The Sun TV has contended that the case does not fall within the ambit of the 2G case.
The Sun TV had also told the Madras HC that the property attached by the ED were not connected with the alleged offence and were purchased before this offence was committed.
The Enforcement Directorate registered a case in 2012, taking cognizance of the case earlier filed by the CBI.
The matter relates to sale of Aircel to Maxis owned by T. Ananda Krishnan in 2006 wherein Aircel’s original owner C. Sivasankaran had alleged that he was pressured to sell Aircel as it was denied licences.
The CBI alleged quid pro quo, saying that in return Malaysian company Maxis invested crores in Sun TV owned by the Maran family. The Maran brothers -- former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his elder brother Kalanithi -- have maintained that the Aircel-Maxis matter did not fall in the ambit of 2G scam involving the cancellation of 122 licences that were granted in an arbitrary manner.
The ED’s attachment order from March is for illegal gain of Rs 742.58 crore, for which it attached assets of Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and Kalanithi’s wife Kaveri Kalanithi.