Court adjourns ‘sine die’ Aircel-Maxis deal case against Malaysian businessman

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New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) A court here on Thursday rejected the CBI plea seeking declaration of Malaysian businessman T. Ananda Krishnan and his associate Augustus Ralph Marshall as absconders in the Aircel-Maxis deal case and adjourned the matter “sine die”.

Special Judge O.P. Saini dismissed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s application seeking issue of process under Section 82 (proclamation for person absconding) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) against accused Krishnan and Marshall, and to begin recording of evidence in the case.

“The application is, thus, wholly unwarranted, dilatory in nature and without merit and is, accordingly, dismissed,” the court said.

The court observed that “the chances of execution of warrant are very bleak” as the accused are residing or staying in a foreign country.

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“In such a situation, the only way out is to consign the case sine die to record room awaiting the execution of warrants or voluntary appearance of the accused before this court,” the court said.

The court also said that the application is premature, without merit and deliberately aimed at wasting the time of the court.

The court in September 2016 issued arrest warrants against Krishnan and Marshall and ordered that the trial against them and two Malaysia-based firms be segregated from that of the Maran brothers.

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.

Though several attempts were made to serve summons to the Malaysia-based accused, the summons could not be reached to the accused persons.

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The CBI had filed the chargesheet against the accused for offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

However, on February 2, the court discharged former Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran, and company Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL) observing that “no prima facie case warranting framing of charge against any of the accused is made out”.

The CBI in its chargesheet had alleged that the former Minister entered into a criminal conspiracy with T. Ananda Krishnan, owner of Malaysian company Maxis, and coerced Chinnakannan Sivasankaran, owner of Aircel, to sell his total shares to the former allegedly in lieu of bribe which was paid in the form of investments by the foreign company through another company into Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd. (SDTPL) and South Asia FM Limited (SAFL) promoted by Kalanithi Maran.

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