Aircel-Maxis case: SC recalls order asking Marans to move Delhi HC

The court had earlier refused to entertain the plea of the former Telecom Minister and his brother and said they could approach the Delhi High Court against the 2G court order summoning them as accused.
The Supreme Court on Friday recalled its order refusing to entertain the petitions of former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Aircel-Maxis caseto quash summons in the Aircel-Maxis case by a special court trying the 2G spectrum scandal. The Centre objected to the hearing in the morning and said another bench led by CJI H.L.Dattu is already hearing all matters related to spectrum cases. The development came a couple of hours after the bench headed by Justice V. Gopala Gowda refused to hear the Maran brothers.

Just before the bench comprising Justices Gowda and R. Banumathi was about to rise for the lunch break, Additional Solicitor-General (ASG) Pinky Anand mentioned on behalf of the CBI that all matters arising out of the 2G spectrum scam probe were being heard by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India.

The ASG said there is a specific order of the apex court that any matter arising out of the 2G spectrum case has to be heard by it and no other court in the country shall entertain it.

Taking on record the submission of the ASG, the bench recalled its order and posted it before the bench headed by Justice Dattu on February 9, 2015.

Earlier in the day, the court refused to entertain the plea of the former Telecom Minister and his brother, saying they could approach the Delhi High Court against the trial court order summoning them as accused.

The bench said it was not inclined to interfere in the matter which has arisen out of the 2G spectrum allocation scam probe.

“You have to exhaust your remedy under Article 226 of the Constitution and then come here. We don’t see any issue of fundamental jurisdiction here. If we say anything, every person will come here saying their fundamental right is violated.

“We cannot interfere as the charge sheet has already been filed. If there is no case against you (Marans), then you can ask for a discharge,” the bench said after which Marans withdrew their petition.

During the hearing, senior advocate C.A. Sundaram, appearing for Dayanidhi Maran, said that this case is not related to 2G spectrum allocation scam probe and that not a single licence was allotted by him during his tenure as telecom minister.

On October 29 last year, a special 2G court had summoned Maran brothers and six others, including Malaysian business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan as accused in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.

The Special CBI court had directed them to appear before it on March 2, 2015 after taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed against eight accused including four companies — Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd, Maxis Communication Berhad, Astro All Asia Network PLC and South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd.

The CBI had said in 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.

Aircel-Maxis case: Court reserves order on CBI’s chargesheet

A Special 2G court on Monday reserved for October 29 its order on the issue of taking cognizance on CBI’s charge sheet in the Aircel-Maxis deal case in which former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and others are named as accused.

“Arguments on the point of cognizance heard. Put up for order on October 29,” Special CBI judge O P Saini said.

During the brief hearing, CBI’s prosecutor K K Goyal told the court that cognizance should be taken on the charge sheet and prima facie a case is made out against all the accused. “Our prayer is that cognizance should be taken. This case involves investigation in foreign countries as well. Prima facie case is made out against all the accused persons and sufficient grounds are there against them,” the prosecutor said.

Meanwhile, the judge asked the prosecutor as to whether all the documents related to the case have been filed before the court.

Responding to the court’s query, the prosecutor said they have filed the relevant documents before the court and their investigation in the case is still going on.

On August 29, CBI had filed the charge sheet in the case against Dayanidhi, Kalanithi and six others, including four firms.

Besides the Maran brothers, the CBI has named Malaysian business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan, Malaysian national Augustus Ralph Marshall and four firms – Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd, Maxis Communication Berhad, Astro All Asia Network PLC and South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd – as accused in the case.

They have been chargesheeted for the offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The 72-page charge sheet includes the names of 151 CBI witnesses and a set of 655 documents, on which the agency has relied upon in its investigation.

On September 11, CBI had told the court that Dayanidhi had “pressurised” 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.

CBI had said, “Several issues relating to Sivasankaran’s firms were kept pending by Dayanidhi Maran, who was the then Telecom Minister, and no decision was being taken on them.

“There was strangulation of these three companies and they were unable to perform their business,” the agency said.

It had said that as soon as Maxis Group bought Sivasankaran’s firms, all the pending issues were cleared by Dayanidhi giving undue benefit to the Malaysian company.

The Malaysian firm was favoured by Dayanidhi and granted licence within six months after the take over of Aircel in December 2006, it had said.

Ex-Telecom Secretary J S Sharma, who has since died, has also been named in the CBI’s charge sheet. However, his name has been put in a column of the accused against whom trial cannot proceed.
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