Court dismisses pleas challenging jurisdiction on Aircel-Maxis deal case

New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) A court here on Saturday dismissed the plea of former Communication Minister Dayanidhi Maran and other accused challenging its jurisdiction to hear the Aircel-Maxis deal case.

Central Bureau of Investigation Special Judge O.P. Saini rejected the plea of Maran and other accused challenging the court’s jurisdiction on the ground that it has been constituted exclusively for the trial of 2G spectrum cases.

The accused has said that monitoring of investigation of the instant cases by the Supreme Court does not make them to be part of 2G spectrum allocation case.

It was submitted that the monitoring was done by the Supreme Court as these cases were also unearthed during investigation of the 2G spectrum allocation cases, the court had noted and observed that though these cases have no relation with the same.

On the other hand, it was the case of the prosecution that monitoring of the case by the Supreme Court is the determining factor to find out if the case relates to 2G case or not, the special court observed.

“However, in view of the fact that the subject matter of the case was fairly and squarely covered by the CAG report, as extracted above, which report was duly considered by the Supreme Court in its order dated December 16, 2010 while issuing the directions, the submission is of no avail,” the court said.

“There is no manner of doubt that by the standard of subject matter and periodicity of the alleged crime, the cases fairly and squarely fall within the description/designation of 2G case,” the court said, adding: “In view of the above discussion, there is no doubt that all these applications are devoid of even an iota of merit and are accordingly dismissed.”

The court noted that that instant case is based on failure of an ongoing commercial transaction between two private individuals.

“However, the submission has been noted to be rejected as the undue delay in granting of licences during the period 2004-2006 has also been adversely commented upon by the CAG and a direction has also been issued by the Supreme Court to investigate this part of the licencing regime also,” it said.

“Thus, there is no merit in the submission.”

The court was hearing two seperate cases of Aircel-Maxis deal – one is being probed by the CBI while other by Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The CBI has chargesheeted 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.

In the other case, ED 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.

The court listed the matter for September 21 for further hearing.

–IANS

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