Aircel-Maxis deal: SC refrains from passing order on Swamy plea
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday refrained from passing any order on the plea by Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy questioning the FIPB clearance granted to Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 during the UPA-1 regime when P Chidambaram was the Finance Minister.
The court said it will wait for the completion of the probe into the irregularities in Aircel-Maxis deal allegedly involving former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran for which CBI has been asked to file the charge sheet in two months.
"No order is required to be passed at this stage. Let the investigation be completed. Let the matter be listed after completion of the investigation," a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan said.
It also allowed Swamy to file a fresh application by amending the prayers for seeking CBI inquiry into the Foreign Investment Promotion Board meeting which on March 7, 2006 that gave nod to the controversial deal by which Maxis acquired 99 per cent economic interest in the Aircel.
The bench said he has to amend his prayer as in the application he has sought investigation against Chidambaram and there was no specific prayer for probe relating to the FIPB meeting.
Swamy claimed that the March 12, 2006 official press note dealt with the FIPB clearance granted to Century Telephone from US and Redington Pte Ltd from Singapore to acquire 74 per cent in Aircel and approval was for enhancing 49 per cent shares to 74 per cent.
However, he said on May 3, 2010, a PIB release spoke about the FIPB clearance given to Malaysia's Maxis through its Mauritius-based subsidiary Global Communication Services Holding Ltd for acquiring stake in Aircel.
When asked by the bench, senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, said it was a mistake which was rectified later.
On his submission, the bench asked him to file an affidavit saying it cannot pass an order on the oral submission.
"You have to file an affidavit. Otherwise we cannot pass any order," the bench said after it wanted to know whether "any affidavit was filed by anyone explaining that mistake".
During the hearing, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), said he was also supporting the allegations of Swamy that FIPB clearance granted to Maxis-Aircel deal needed full probe.
The apex court on August 1 had directed the CBI to place before it the minutes of the March 7, 2006 meeting of the FIPB giving nod to the deal.
Maran has been accused of forcing Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell the stake in Aircel in 2006 to a Malaysian firm Maxis Group owned by Kuala Lumpur-based business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan.