September 8th, 2011
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CBI denies clean chit to Maran

New Delhi: In a significant development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it had not given a clean chit to Dayanidhi Maran in the 2G spectrum allocation scam. Maran was the communications minister during the first United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime.

‘We have not given clean chit to anyone so far, not even to Dayanidhi Maran. By September-end we may file a case and likely to complete investigation,’ a CBI official said. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court said that it will examine the issue of forming a panel to monitor the 2G spectrum probe. Also, noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court calling the probe on Maran less than honest.

The CBI, which filed its interim report in the 2G spectrum allocation case in the Supreme Court last week, had said that during investigation no element of ‘coercion’ was found against Maran, who was the telecom minister between May 2004 and May 2007. The probe agency said that prima facie there was no concrete evidence to prove any wrong doings on part of Maran in the alleged sale of Aircel to Malaysia-based Maxis group.

The CBI had also told the apex court that it wanted to examine the terms on which Universal Service Agreement Licence (USAL) were granted during the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In its report, the CBI also mentioned that licences granted during the tenure of former telecom minister Arun Shourie and late Pramod Mahajan also needed to be examined.

The investigating agency had told the two-judge bench of justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly that Loop Telecom is a front company for Essar and both companies are guilty of cheating. Besides A Raja and Kanimozhi, other accused in the case include Unitech Wireless Managing Director Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom’s Director Vinod Goenka, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, Raja’s former personal secretary RK Chandolia, DMK-run Kalaignar TV’s MD Sharad Kumar, Bollywood filmmaker Karim Morani and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group’s executives Hari Nair, Gautam Doshi and Surrendra Pipara.

The other accused persons included Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, his cousin Asif Balwa and their colleague Rajeev Agarwal. The accused also included three telecom firms Reliance Telecom Ltd, Swan Telecom and Unitech (Tamil Nadu) Wireless Ltd. All the accused have pleaded that they have not done anything wrong and refuted the charge of drawing illegal benefits in the 2G spectrum allocation.


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