Maran not given clean chit so far in 2G scam: CBI to SC
"We have said that the inquiry conducted so far has not revealed element of coercion on the part of Maran (in connection with the sale of Aircel to Malaysia-based Maxis group).
"The inquiry prima facie revealed that the Malaysian firm was in contact with the minister and his brother prior to the takeover of the company from C Sivasankaran," senior advocate K K Venugopal told a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly.
CBI said an impression has been created due to the "misreporting" of the last hearing in the court by the media that Maran has been given a clean chit in the case.
"There was misreporting and misinterpretation of the status report (filed on September 2 in a sealed cover, the portion of which was read out)," he said.
The agency raised strong objection to the submission made by the NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), that the probe has been "less than honest".
Venugopal was referring to the application filed by NGO's counsel Prashant Bhushan expressing doubts about the probe done by the investigating agency saying CBI's case would collapse in the trial court.
"Prashant Bhushan filed an application making strong statements against CBI. It is very unfortunate. We have objection to the statement as we are carrying out the orders of this court," he said.
Maran was the Telecom Minister between May 2004 and May 2007. He was forced to resign as Union Textiles Minister in July this year after CBI said it was investigating a complaint against him filed by Sivasankaran who owned Aircel in 2006.
CBI maintained that during Maran's tenure there was "deliberate delay" to provide letter of intent to the promoter of Aircel.
The agency said that after Aircel was sold to the Maxis Group, investments were made by the Malaysian firm into the family business of Marans.
CBI had on July 6 charged Maran in the Supreme Court with "forcing" a Chennai-based telecom promoter to sell his stakes in Aircel to Maxis in 2006.
The agency, in its status report, had then said Maran forced Sivasankaran to sell the stake in Aircel to the Maxis Group.
Maran has refuted the allegations.
The report had said the Malaysian firm was allegedly favoured by Maran and was granted licence within six months after taking over Aircel in December 2006.
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