SC recalls order dismissing Marans' plea in Aircel-Maxis case

The Supreme Court today refused to quash the summons issued by the special 2G court to former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran in connection with the Aircel-Maxis case.

Initially, the apex ourt said they could approach the Delhi High Court against the trial court order summoning them as accused, but only to recall the order later.

A bench of Justices V Gopala Gowda and R Banumathi of the Supreme Court recalled the order after additional solicitor general Pinky Anand mentioned before the bench that all cases pertaining to the 2G scam were being heard by a different bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu.

Justices Gowda and Bhanumati had in the morning refused to interfere in the matter and had asked the two to first seek remedy from the Delhi High Court against the trial court order before moving the Supreme Court.

"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, then you can ask for a discharge," the bench said after which Marans withdrew their petition.

Senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for Dayanidhi Maran, had pointed out that the case was not related to 2G spectrum allocation scam probe and that Dayanidhi Maran had not allotted a single licence during his tenure as telecom minister.

A special court had, on 29 October last year, 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 2 March 2015 after taking cognisance of the charges filed against eight accused, including four companies - Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd, Maxis Communication Berhad, Astro All Asia Network PlcC and South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd.

In the charges file by CBI, it had accused Dayanidhi Maran of pressuring and forcing Chennai-based businessman C Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006.

Ananda Krishnan, owner of Maxis, allegedly invested Rs629 crore in Kalanithi Maran's Sun Group in return.

The charges against the Marans were under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, sections 7 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act), 12 (punishment for abetment of offences defined in section 7) and 13(1)(d) (criminal misconduct by a public servant for using illegal/corrupt means, or abusing his position) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.