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Aircel-Maxis deal: ED moves high court challenging discharge order

The appeal has been filed against the trial court's February 2 order

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Aircel-Maxis deal: ED moves high court challenging discharge order

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday moved the Delhi challenging the special court's order discharging former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his industrialist brother Kalanithi Maran and others in the Aircel -Maxis deal case.

As per the lawyers associated with ED, the appeal has been filed against the trial court's February 2 order and is likely to be listed soon for hearing.

Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge O P Saini, while discharging them had said that no prima facie case warranting framing of charges against any of the accused was made out on the basis of the materials placed on record before it.

Dealing with the money-laundering case, the trial court had observed that since the accused were discharged in the case of scheduled offence registered by CBI, ED's matter has become "groundless" and nothing survived in it.

The accused were also discharged in the case lodged by CBI against them. However, the special judge order had no effect on the two accused Malaysian nationals -- Ralph Marshall and T Ananda Krishnan -- in the CBI's case as it has already segregated the proceedings against them from that of Maran brothers and others.

In the money laundering case, ED had charge-sheeted 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).

CBI had filed a charge-sheet against the Maran brothers, Ralph Marshall, T Ananda Krishnan and four firms -- 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) J S Sarma, who had died during the course of the probe.

They were charge-sheeted for the alleged offence of criminal conspiracy under the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The special court, in two separate orders, had said that the case was based on the foundation that Dayanidhi and Sarma deliberately delayed the approval relating to several issues, including the issuance of UAS licences to Aircel, to force Chennai-based promoter C Sivasankaran to exit from the telecom sector.

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