Sun TV shares fall sharply on report of CBI filing charges against Marans

Sun TV shares fell sharply today after The Times of India newspaper reported CBI investigators were set to file charges against the company's executive chairman Kalanithi Maran, and his brother, former telecoms minister Dayanidhi Maran, over kickback allegations.

The agency was looking to charge the Marans over allegations they received Rs5.49 billion in kickbacks with the Malaysian telecoms firm Maxis acquiring a majority stake in Indian phone company Aircel in 2006, according to the report. The report cited sources it did not name, at the Central Bureau of Investigation.

According to the paper the  CBI investigation would show,that, during his former role as telecoms minister, Maran favoured Maxis in return for a kickback. It added that the CBI had presented a status report on the case to a parliamentary panel.

Sun TV shares retreated as much 22 per cent on the report, before staging a partial recovery to be down 11.5 per cent.

Last October, the CBI opened formal investigations into role of the Maran brothers and a Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan, owner of Maxis, over their roles in a sprawling telecoms scandal.

A CBI source told Reuters today that the agency earlier this month questioned Dayanidhi Maran. The source requested anonymity as the probe was on going.