You are here: Home » Companies » News » Telecom
Business Standard

Aircel-Maxis: SC questions SSP's attempt to restrain 2G court ruling

Bench says, discharge of accused made it clear that case was not of laundering as alleged by ED

Aircel-maxis Case

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Dayanidhi Maran
A file photo of former Telecom Minister and DMK member Dayanidhi Maran (Photo: PTI)

The prosecution's attempt to restrain the special 2G court from releasing the attached properties and execution of bail bond of Maran brothers — Dayanidhi and Kalanithi — after their discharge in the Rs 742.58 crore Aircel-Maxis deal cases on Friday met with probing question from the Supreme Court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar was not in an agreement with the grounds taken by senior advocate Anand Grover, who was appointed by the apex court as the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP), to lead the prosecution on behalf of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), saying that the discharge of the accused made it clear that this case was not of money laundering as alleged by the ED.

"The simple logic is that this money (Rs 742.58 crore), considered to be that of laundering, is not found to be that of the proceeds of the crime," the bench, also comprising Justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud, said during the hearing in which the SPP was also told that he has not cured many of the defects in the plea which was raised in the morning.

However, when Grover tried to press for the relief in the absence of proper appeal filed either by the CBI or ED, the bench said according to the special court's order, this money was not a "part of the crime" alleged against the accused and this being so, then "there was no money laundering".

The bench gave an opportunity to the SPP to "prepare" his case and "address arguments on Wednesday".

Before the matter was posted to February 8, Grover tried to explain that why he himself moved the apex court without waiting for the ED to file an appeal against the order of the special court which held that no case of conspiracy was made out against any of the accused persons in the case.

Grover said that the ED will file a proper appeal after consultation and approval but due to urgency in the matter, he has moved the apex court with only two prayers that the bail bonds should not be executed and the attached properties should not be released.

He said that the CBI will also take his opinion and his juniors would prepare a draft which will finally go to the Law Ministry for vetting.

The bench asked Grover as to why he didn't approach the Delhi High Court with a revision petition as the issue of bail bonds is a too trivial.

Grover said that according to the earlier orders of the apex court, only after the final order in the 2G cases could parties approach the high court and all the interim orders pending completion of trial would be dealt with by the Supreme Court.

However, the apex court disputed his contention that the discharge in the case cannot be considered as the final order.

"We cannot agree with you," the bench said adding, "This is the final order and it can be said trial is closed."

Grover, who got some support of advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing for NGO CPIL, said that all revision petitions in 2G cases have earlier come to the apex court.

He also made it clear that if CBI does not file appeal against the discharge of Maran brothers, then the NGO Bhushan is representing will step in.

The bench concluded the hearing by asking the SPP to prepare a fresh petition so that there should not be any objections and it has to be filed by tomorrow.

DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran, during his tenure as Telecom Minister from February 2004 to May, 2007, had allegedly abused his official position and showed undue favours to Ananda Krishnan-owned company in lieu of which the business tycoon bought equity subscription shares of Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd and accused firm South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd which were managed by Kalanithi Maran, the prosecution had said.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, February 03 2017. 20:33 IST