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Maran involved in 2G scam: CBI to SC
Agency seeks time till Sept-end to complete investigationR Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 6
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today told the Supreme Court that evidence has been gathered against Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran for his alleged involvement in the 2G Spectrum scam in which two other DMK leaders - former Telecom Minister A Raja and Kanimozhi - have already been arrested and chargesheeted.

Maran came under pressure to quit as minister recently following former Aircel chief Sivasankaran’s claim that he was forced to sell his company to a Malaysian firm in 2006.

The CBI submitted its 71-page status report to a Bench comprising Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly, which is monitoring the investigations in the alleged scam during 2001-08. Maran was the Telecom Minister before being replaced by his party colleague A Raja.

Senior counsel KK Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, read out the gist of the status report in court, carefully avoiding a mention of any names of individuals or companies.

The reference to Maran, however, became clear when he gave out details about the CBI investigations into the possible role of all Telecom Ministers in the scam, starting from 2001 when the late Pramod Mahajan of the BJP held the portfolio followed by his party colleague Arun Shourie. After the Congress-led UPA came to power in May 2004, the ministry was manned first by Maran and then by Raja.

While referring to the period when Maran was in-charge of the Telecom Ministry, Venugopal said evidence had been gathered to show that the minister forced the promoter of Chennai-based telecom company Aircel to sell the firm to Malaysian entity ‘Maxis’ in 2006. The CBI has now sought bank documents from Singapore to ascertain allegations that Maxis bribed Maran by investing in his family-owned business, Sun TV, the senior counsel said.

The Telecom Ministry sat over Aircel’s licence application for two years and cleared the application immediately after its sale to Maxis, Venugopal said, again without mentioning the names of the companies.

Cautioning the CBI against coming under pressure, the Bench directed the agency to complete its probe quickly without yielding to any cover-up attempt. “The case should be taken to its logical conclusion as early as possible before cover-ups cover every thing,” the court remarked.

“The CBI will not be influenced by anyone,” Venugopal said and sought time till the end of September to file the last chargesheet.

Just a fortnight ago, the apex court had rejected the bail plea of Kanimozhi, daughter of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK chief M Karunanidhi. She is a Rajya Sabha member.

The Bench slated July 11 as the next date of hearing.

Maran ‘nailed’

Maran ‘sat over’ Aircel's Spectrum licence application for two years, ‘forcing’ it to sell its stake to Malaysian firm Maxis in 2006

Maxis granted Spectrum licence six months after it took over Aircel in December 2006. Maran held the telecom portfolio from 2004-07

CBI seeks bank papers from Singapore to ascertain whether Maxis invested in Maran’s family business as a bribe





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