NEW DELHI: In a setback to Union textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran just ahead of a likely Cabinet reshuffle, CBI told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that a prima facie case is made out against him for having allegedly misused his position as the telecom minister to force Sivasankaran — promoter of mobile phone company Aircel — to sell out to Malaysian telecom firm Maxis.
The investigating agency told the apex court that its preliminary inquiry into the allegation of Sivasankaran, a serial entrepreneur known as Siva in business circles, suggested that Maran starved Aircel of new licences to bully him into selling out. Siva had also alleged that as part of the quid pro quo, Maxis invested Rs 599 crore in Sun Direct, a family concern of the Marans.
“Inquiry has revealed that in spite of unanimous recommendation for approval of letter of intent (LoI), the then MoC&IT raised objections and sought clarification on August 26, 2004 primarily to block issuance of licences,” CBI counsel, senior advocate K K Venugopal, told a bench of Justices G Singhvi and A K Ganguly.
Maran was Union telecom minister in UPA-I regime and held charge till the middle of 2007 when he had to make way for A Raja because of a feud with DMK chief M Karunanidhi.