2G case: CBI says Maran forced Sivasankaran to sell Aircel stake to Maxis

Former telecom minister 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, the CBI told the special court hearing 2G cases.

"Accused number one (Dayanidhi Maran) forced Sivasankaran to sell his companies. He (Sivasankaran) sold his three firms to Malaysia's Maxis Communication Berhad (accused number six)," the CBI told Special Judge O P Saini during arguments on consideration of charges filed in the Aircel-Maxis case.

The CBI had, on 29 August, filed charges in the case against Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanidhi Maran and six others, including four firms.

Appearing for CBI, senior public prosecutor K K Goel told the court, "In this case, seller (Sivasankaran) was the victim as he was not allowed to do his business by Dayanidhi Maran."

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

"If accused number one (Dayanidhi) had cleared all the issues and had given licences and spectrum to Sivasankaran's firms, then Maxis Group would have had to pay much more to buy the companies," it claimed.

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 charged with offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

After hearing the submissions advanced by the prosecutor, the court fixed the matter for further arguments on 22 September.