CBI today told a special court that Malaysian authorities were not “cooperating” in the service of summons against four accused in the Aircel-Maxis deal case after which the judge issued fresh summons.
The agency said the Indian High Commission and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have tried thrice to get the summons served to Malaysian business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan, Augustus Ralph Marshall and two accused firms but they have not received any positive response from them.
“The High Commission and the MHA have tried thrice for service of summons. In the first set of summons, they said there was some problem. They are not cooperating. We have sent the report thrice,” senior public prosecutor K K Goel told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.
Goel also placed before the court the records pertaining to request sent to the Malaysian authorities.
He said, “We cannot force a foreign country. We are requesting them and are pursuing it. We have also written to our High Commission in Malaysia.”
Special public prosecutor Anand Grover told the court that fresh summons should be issued against the four accused.
“Malaysian authorities are not cooperating. Fresh summons should be issued instead of extending the date of summons,” he said.
During the hearing, the judge observed, “Can’t we separate the trial?”
Responding to this, Grover said, “Splitting the case at this stage will cause prejudice to us. So we can wait.”
After hearing the submissions, the court issued fresh summons to Krishnan, Marshall and two accused firms — Maxis Communication Berhad and Astro All Asia Network PLC — for December 7.
Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and authorised representative of accused firm Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd were present in the court during the hearing.
The court on March 16 had issued fresh summons to the four accused after CBI had said that summons issued against them had not been served.
The court is also likely to hear the bail pleas as well as petitions filed by Maran brothers challenging its jurisdiction to deal with the case on the next date of hearing.
Besides the Maran brothers, the court had earlier summoned Krishnan, Marshall and four firms — Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd, Maxis Communication Berhad, South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd and Astro All Asia Network PLC — as accused in the case after taking cognisance of CBI’s charge sheet.
CBI had chargesheeted them for the alleged offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
It had earlier informed the court that five of the eight accused were residing and based in different countries like Malaysia, Mauritius and the UK while the remaining three were in Chennai.
CBI had earlier alleged in the court that Dayanidhi Maran had “pressured” and “forced” Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006.
It had argued that case involves investigation in foreign countries and there were sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused named in the charge sheet.