Whether Maran received indirect stakes from AIRCEL?
AFTER A RAJA former DMK Minister, the CBI’s next target in the 2G spectrum scam is Dayanidhi Maran the present Minister. Perhaps the youngest minister at 38, he served as telecom minister in UPA-1 from May 2004 to May 2007. He fell out of favour with his grand uncle, DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, but returned in 2009 as textiles minister in UPA-2. The CBI suspects he has indirect stakes in Aircel, which he allegedly promoted during his stint as telecom minister.
A CBI source told TEHELKA that there is a watertight case against Raja and DB Group MD Shahid Balwa. “We have tracked 2G spectrum money worth Rs. 200 crore, which was transferred from DB Group to DMK’s Kalaignar TV,” said a source. “We are only waiting for a reply to our letter rogatory (LR) sent to Mauritius about a month ago.” This query is about Mauritius- based Delphi Investments, which has stakes in Swan Telecom. The reply will only throw up names of some more beneficiaries in the scam. The puzzle about Unitech’s role is also more or less solved. The CBI will next investigate the allocation of spectrum during Maran’s stint.
JUSTICE PATIL’S report has also faulted Maran’s functioning. Recounting procedural lapses, the report says that Maran did not consult the Telecom Commission, the telecom department’s decision-making body, and ignored the Group of Ministers (GOM) while taking crucial policy decisions.
Intrigued by all this, the CBI is likely to summon Sivasankaran, Dr Reddy and Maxis Communications owners for questioning. The CBI is in the process of sending an LR to Malaysia to ascertain details of Maxis’ ownership, the sources say, while adding that Maran will also be questioned.
In his asset declaration for 2009-10, Maran did not appear to be particularly well-heeled, declaring only Rs.6.87 crore. He also owns a Mercedes valued at Rs. 8.10 lakh and a Toyata Innova at Rs. 12.24 lakh. His successor Raja appears to be even worse off, with assets of only Rs. 1.95 crore in 2009-10. The CBI has tracked Raja’s hidden money. Now it’s the turn of Maran.
Union textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran on Tuesday issued a legal notice to Tehelka magazine calling its report — that he had deliberately delayed clearing application for licenses of certain telecom companies in 2006 —a blatant and concocted lie. Maran, a grand nephew of former Tamil Nadu CM and DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, accused Tehelka of pursuing a jaundiced form of investigative journalism. According to the Tehelka report, Maran’s decision pressurized the telecom firm Aircel to strike a deal with Maxis. Tehelka said in a statement that it was yet to receive the notice. “We are told that Dayanidhi Maran has sent us a notice but we haven’t received it yet.
What Tehelka going to reply? we have to wait and see.