CBI to file charge sheet in Aircel-Maxis deal soon

Mukul Rohatgi's opinion was received by probe agency on Aug 4

A charge sheet in the controversial Aircel-Maxis deal OF 2006, involving former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, will be filed shortly in accordance with the opinion given by the Attorney General, the CBI told the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

After perusing the status report in the matter, a three-judge bench presided by Justice H L Dattu noted that  CBI proposed to file the charge sheet following the opinion given by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.

Notably, a difference of opinion has emerged on the question of filing the charge sheet among the CBI’s top brass with its director Ranjit Sinha opposing the idea and recommending dropping the prosecution.

After senior advocate K K Venugopal placed the status report on behalf of the CBI, the court said that the apprehension was not justified that the agency was not moving forward for filing the charge sheet.

The counsel explained the delay due to difference of opinion between CBI director and director prosecution on filing of the charge sheet, which was finally decided after AG’s opinion. “The attorney general has concurred with the opinion of Director of Prosecution and not with CBI Director,” Venugopal said, adding that “all steps have been taken for filing of the charge sheet and that is going to be done”.

He said that Rohatgi’s July 27 opinion was received by the CBI on August 4.
The CBI had registered FIR in October 2011 in the Aircel-Maxis case, wherein Maran has been accused of forcing Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell the stake in Aircel in 2006 to a Malaysian firm, Maxis Group, owned by Kuala Lumpur-based business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan. The CBI had earlier said that its domestic investigation it was complete, but was facing hurdles in its overseas probe as it was not getting cooperation.

Maran was the telecom minister between February 2004 and May 2007.

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