New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday told the Supreme Court that there was no evidence to suggest that former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran used coercive methods to force C. Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in telecom company Aircel to Malaysia-based Maxis group.
Senior counsel KK Venugopal, appearing for the probe agency, told the apex court bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly that the CBI "may examine" the then finance minister Jaswant Singh over alleged wrongdoings in the communications ministry in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government.
He told the court that Jaswant Singh headed the empowered group of ministers (EGOM) when Arun Shourie was the communications minister between 2003-04. The CBI told the court that it would complete its investigation into suspicious transactions linked to the 2G allocation by Sep 31.
Talking about allegations against Maran, Venugopal said there was no evidence of coercion used by DMK leader Maran in the sale of Aircel by Sivasankaran to Maxis. Maxis was in touch with Maran before Sivasankaran off-loaded his stakes in the telecom company.
DMK spokesperson Elangovan said in Chennai: "The whole 2G case is without any evidence. The cases against Raja and Kanimozhi will also fail."
The CBI told the apex court that there was deliberate and undue delay on the part of the DoT (department of telecommunication) and the (then) minister in the issuance of letter of intent to Aircel under its previous owner and "undue favour was shown" the moment the company was taken over by the Maxis group.
It was alleged that Maran created a situation that forced Sivasankaran to sell his stake in Aircel to Maxis group, believed to be close to the minister's family.
Venugopal also gave to court the CBI's status report on its investigations into the 2G scam in a sealed cover. One report each was submitted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax department.
The CBI said the investigation into the alleged wrongdoings in the communications ministry was broadly in four parts dealing with the tenures of communications ministers Pramod Mahajan (2002-03), Arun shourie (2003-04), Dayanidhi Maran (2004-07) and A. Raja (2007-10).
Venugopal said that the CBI found little evidence of lapses during Arun Shourie's tenure, but there were variations in the policy and its implementation in Pramod Mahajan's tenure and it was being further investigated.
CBI to quiz Jaswant Singh
The Supreme Court was Thursday told by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that it "may examine" the then finance minister Jaswant Singh over alleged wrongdoings in the communications ministry in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government.
CBI senior counsel K.K. Venugopal told the court that the investigating agency "may examine" Jaswant Singh, who headed the empowered group of ministers (EGOM) when Arun Shourie was the communications minister between 2003-04.
The agency said its probe in the alleged lapses in the ministry was broadly in four parts dealing with the tenures of ministers Pramod Mahajan (2002-03), Arun shourie (2003-04), Dayanidhi Maran (2004-07) and A. Raja (2007-10). There are varying degrees of alleged wrongdoing in these periods.
The CBI found little evidence of lapses during Arun Shourie's tenure at the ministry, but there are variation in the policy and its implementation during Pramod Mahajan's tenure and it is being further investigated, CBI counsel said.