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Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran 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 CBI claimed before a special court today.
CBI made the submissions before Special Judge O P Saini while advancing arguments on framing of charges against accused Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and others in the Aircel-Maxis case.
Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover also claimed that Dayanidhi had forced Sivasankaran to sell his three companies to Malaysia's Maxis Communication Berhad, also an accused in the case.
CBI's arguments remained inconclusive and would continue tomorrow.
The court had earlier held it had the jurisdiction to try the matter against Maran brothers and others as the Aircel- Maxis deal "fairly and squarely falls within the description of 2G scam".
The court's order had come as it dismissed the pleas of the Maran brothers and other accused challenging jurisdiction of the special 2G court to try two cases filed by CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Aircel-Maxis deal, claiming that these matters did not directly or indirectly fall into the category of 2G spectrum cases.
CBI had filed 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, and M/s South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd, Malaysia and then Additional Secretary (Telecommunications) late Dr J S Sarma.
They were chargesheeted for the offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
All the accused persons have also moved bail pleas which are pending before the court.
The court had on September 24, issued open warrants of arrest against Krishnan and Marshall on CBI's plea stating that summons issued to them could not be served.
The court had also ordered that the trial against Maran brothers and two accused companies be segregated from that of those based in Malaysia -- Krishnan, Marshall, and two firms, Astro All Asia Network PLC and Maxis Communication Berhad, saying their appearance may take a long time which may lead to a delay in the proceedings.
While arguing on the issue of framing of charge against him, Dayanidhi had claimed that during the time period in which the alleged crime was committed, as claimed by CBI, Sivasankaran was in talks with several companies to sell his stakes in Aircel. It was only in October 2005 that the business transaction between Aircel and Maxis was finalised, his counsel had said. His brother Kalanithi had also argued that CBI's claim was false and the complainant was himself eager for the business and that he was being falsely implicated in the case. The court had on September 24 issued open warrants of arrest against Krishnan and Marshall on CBI's plea stating that summons issued to them could not be served. It had also ordered that the trial against Maran brothers and two accused companies be segregated from that of those based in Malaysia -- Krishnan, Marshall, and two firms, Astro All Asia Network PLC and Maxis Communication Berhad, saying their appearance may take a long time which may lead to a delay in the proceedings. During the arguments earlier, ED's special prosecutor N K Matta had claimed that there were money transactions which allegedly showed that SDTPL and SAFL had received Rs 742.58 crore as "proceeds of crime" from Mauritius-based firms in the Aircel-Maxis deal. The agency had claimed that "proceeds of crime" amounting to Rs 549.03 crore and Rs 193.55 crore were received by SDTPL and SAFL, allegedly controlled by co-accused Kalanithi, through various Mauritius-based entities. ED had earlier alleged before the court that Dayanidhi had generated funds worth Rs 742.58 crore through illegal means and there was sufficient prima facie material to proceed against him and other accused in the case. It had then alleged that Dayanidhi had obtained "illegal gratification" of Rs 742.58 crore and the money was "parked" in the firms of Kalanithi by projecting it as untainted. ED had also claimed that Kalanithi was controlling both SDTPL and SAFL, where the money was infused through Mauritius-based companies.