Aircel-Maxis deal: Court issues arrest warrant against Malaysian businessmen

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) A special court hearing the Aircel-Maxis case on Saturday issued arrest warrants against Malaysian businessmen, including T. Ananda Krishnan.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge O.P. Saini issued non-bailable warrant against Krishnan and Ralph Marshall, allowing the plea of the probe agency seeking an arrest warrant against them as they failed to turn up before the court despite repeated summons.

“It is ordered that the trial of the appearing accused, that is, Dayanidhi Maran, Kalanithi Maran, Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd and South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd be segregated from the trial of accused Ralph Marshall, T. Ananda Krishnan, Astro All Asia Networks, Maxis Communications Berhad,” the court said.

“Accordingly miscellaneous file be opened relating to these four accused who are yet to be served.”

“It is further ordered that an open and perpetual warrant of arrest be issued against Marshall and Krishnan, as prayed by the prosecution,” the court said.

Krishnan, Marshall and two accused firms – Maxis Communications Berhad of Malaysia and Astro All Asia Networks – were first summoned by the court on October 29, 2014.

Later, the court issued fresh summons thrice on March 2 2015, August 3, 2015, and December 7, 2015, against the four accused persons but they did not appear before the court.

The CBI had submitted that the service reports regarding summons issued against four Malaysia-based accused are still awaited.

“In view of the said facts, it is apparent that adequate time may be consumed for getting the service of summons executed on the absent accused persons,” the CBI said in its application.

“It is humbly prayed that warrant of arrest may be issued in respect of the following accused persons so that the coercive method may be used to bring them before this court to face the trial of the case,” the CBI prayed before the court.

The CBI has chargesheeted Dayanidhi Maran, his brother, businessman Kalanithi Maran, Chennai-based firm Sun Direct TV, Malaysian businessman T.A. Ananda Krishnan, Augustus Ralph Marshall and two accused firms, Maxis Communications Berhad of Malaysia and Astro All Asia Networks alleging that Dayanidhi Maran used his influence to help Krishnan buy Aircel by coercing its owner Sivasankaran to part with his stake.

It was alleged by Sivasankaran that Dayanidhi Maran favoured the Maxis Group in the takeover of his company. In return, he further alleged, the company made investments through Astro Network in a company stated to be owned by the Maran family.

The court listed the matter for October 18 for further hearing.

In the other case, the Enforcement Directorate has chargesheeted Maran brothers, Kalanithi’s wife Kavery Kalanithi and South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL) Managing Director K. Shanmugam, two companies – SAFL and Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd. (SDTPL) for money laundering of Rs 742.58 crore.

—IANS

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