Aircel-Maxis case: Court to pass order on charge on Feb 2

Aircel-Maxis case: Court to pass order on charge on Feb 2
A special court today said it will pronounce on February 2 its order on framing of charges against former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and others in the Aircel-Maxis deal cases lodged by CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Special Judge O P Saini, who was scheduled to pass the order today on framing of charges as well as on bail applications of the Maran brothers and other accused persons, deferred it to the next date, saying the order was not ready.

All the accused have denied the allegations against them made by the investigating agencies and have moved bail pleas.

During arguments on framing of charges, Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover had claimed that Dayanidhi had "pressurised" Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006.

The charge was strongly refuted by Dayanidhi.

CBI had filed a charge sheet against the Maran brothers, Ralph Marshall, T Ananda Krishnan, M/s Sun Direct TV (P) Ltd, M/s Astro All Asia Networks Plc, UK, M/s Maxis Communications Berhad, Malaysia, M/s South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd, Malaysia and then Additional Secretary (Telecom) late J S Sarma.

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

In the money laundering case, ED has chargesheeted the Maran brothers, Kalanithi's wife Kavery, Managing Director of South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL) K Shanmugam, SAFL and Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL) under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The court had summoned the six accused after taking cognisance of the ED's charge sheet, saying there was "enough incriminating material" to proceed against them.

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