M A I N   N E W S

CBI raids Marans’ houses, offices
Aircel-Maxis deal: Searches in Delhi, Chennai; FIR filed against two brothers
Sandeep Yadav/TNS

New Delhi, October 10
After registering a case against former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his elder brother Kalanithi Maran in connection with the controversial Aircel-Maxis deal, the CBI today raided nine offices and residences of the duo in Delhi and Chennai.

Industrialist C Sivasankaran had alleged that he was forced to sell his mobile company Aircel by Dayanidhi Maran, the then Communication Minister (2004-07), to Malaysia-based Maxis group owned by T. Ananda Krishnan, who in return made investments worth crores in Sun TV, which is owned by Maran brothers. Sivasankaran had told the CBI that his application for 2G Spectrum licenses was delayed without reasons by Maran, as a result he was forced to sell the company. Maran, however, had refuted the allegations but resigned from the Union Cabinet in July this year after the CBI questioned him.

The CBI has also registered an FIR against Ralph Marshall, CEO of Astra TV, T Ananda Krishnan, chairman of Usaha Tegas, Malaysia and three private communication companies - Sun Direct TV, Astro All Asia Networks and Maxis Communications. “The case has been registered against Maran brothers, Ralph Marshal, T Ananda Krishnan, other unknown persons and three private companies under the Section 120-B of the IPC (criminal conspiracy), Sections 7, 12 and Section 13(2), 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act,” said CBI spokesperson Dharni Mishra.

If top CBI sources are to be believed, the agency has a strong case against Maran. “We have a very strong case against Dayanidhi Maran, even stronger then Raja. There was a deliberate delay by Dayanidhi to provide the letter of intent to Sivasankaran when he applied for the 2G Spectrum. However, after he sold Aircel to Maxis, investments worth several crores flowed from the Malaysian firm into the family business of Marans. Even former aides of Maran have told us that the processing of files pertaining to Sivasankaran’s company was delayed at the direction of the minister,” said the CBI official privy to the investigation.

Meanwhile, premises of Suneeta Reddy, daughter of Apollo Hospital founder Pratap Reddy were also raided by the CBI in Hyderabad. Suneeta was the chairperson of Aircel in 2005 and was questioned by the CBI last month.

The CBI is also investigating another case related to the provision of over 320 residential telephone lines, a mini-exchange in itself, at the residence of Dayanidhi Maran.





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