Dayanidhi Maran under scanner in 2G scam probe: CBI tells Supreme Court

Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran has come under the scanner in the 2G scam probe, CBI told the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Maran, a former Telecom Minister was accused of forcing promoter of a Chennai-based telecom company to sell his firm to a Malaysian firm in 2006.

CBI has assured the apex court of completing probe into money trail in the 2G scam by August 31.

Siva, as the former Aircel stake holder is popularly known among his friends and well-wishers in the corporate circle, had recounted the events that culminated in the sale of his telecom company to the Malaysian firm, owned by a Sri Lankan expatriate T Ananda Krishnan, in December, 2005.

The allegation against Maran is that Aircel, previously denied a telecom licence for over two years, was allotted one when its owners changed hands to Malaysia-based Maxis. The report says that Maran cleared the decks only after Maxis’ sister company invested Rs 675 crore in the Maran-owned Sun TV, which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) calls a conflict of interest.

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Murli Manohar Joshi last month accused Maran of having played a vital role in starting the 2G spectrum scam.

Maran’s role came under the scanner after a news magazine questioned the circumstances in which he granted a license to Aircel in 2007 as the then communications minister.

Maran last month rejected charges that his family owned Sun Television Network was a beneficiary of pay-offs by a Malaysian company which benefitted from equity sold by Aircel.