‘Maran delayed processing of Aircel chief`s files’

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 23:15

New Delhi: Former aides of ex-Telecom
Minister Dayanidhi Maran have reportedly told CBI the
processing of the files of former Aircel Chief owner C
Sivasankaran was delayed allegedly at the directions of the
minister.

Sanjay Murthy, the then Personal Secretary to Maran,
in his statement has reportedly told CBI that "there was delay
in grant of approval" of licenses to Dishnet DSL Limited, a
company of C Sivasankaran.

Sources in the agency claimed today that Murthy further
told the CBI "that the directions conveyed by me for putting
of files etc and recording the orders of minister was done as
per the directions of Dayanidhi Maran."

He had told the agency sleuths that as the PS to the
Minister he was "not expected to examine the merits of the
case as it was the responsibility of the department to examine
and put it up to the MOC and IT".

Murthy is also said to have told CBI that Maran had met
Ralph Marshall, CEO of Astro which invested in Sun TV and also
a Board member of Maxis, in office between 2005 and 06,
sources said.

The then OSD to Maran V A K Nambiar in his statement
is also understood to have corroborated about the meeting
saying that Marshall along with three to four persons had come
to meet Maran in Electronic Niketan in 2005-06 on two to three
occasions and stayed at a luxury hotel here, sources claimed.

Sivasankaran had alleged his applications for licences
were rejected when Maran was the telecom minister in 2006,
forcing him to sell his company to Maxis, whose owner is
considered to be close to Maran and his brother Kalanidhi, who
owns Sun TV.

Later, Maran is alleged to have granted 14 licences to
Dishnet Wireless (Aircel) during his tenure as the telecom
minister.

CBI is looking into investments of Maxis in Sun TV which
are alleged to have been done with Astro group. Besides, it is
also looking into various aspects of takeover of Aircel by
Maxis group, the sources said.

The probe agency has already registered a preliminary
inquiry on issues in 2G spectrum allocation between 2001-07
and is actively looking into the matter.

The preliminary inquiry was registered against "unknown
persons" following a Supreme Court directive to detect any
alleged anomaly in `first-come-first-serve` during the
spectrum allocation between 2001-07.

Maxis has 74 per cent stake in Aircel which has presence
in 23 telecom circles -- Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Assam, North
East, Orissa, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, West
Bengal, Kolkata, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, UP
(West), UP (East), Maharashtra and Goa, Mumbai, Haryana,
Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 23:15

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