September 1st, 2011
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CBI gives Maran clean chit:2G spectrum scam

dayanidhi maranNew Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its progress report submitted today at the Supreme Court on the 2G spectrum scam, gave a clean chit to Former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran as they found no evidence that Dayanidhi Maran misused his office as Telecom Minister to ensure that phone company Aircel was sold by its owner to an entrepreneur who was close to Mr Maran and his brother, Kalanidhi. The CBI claimed that there was no prima facie element of coercion found in licences issued between 2001 and 2007.

Mr Maran was forced to resign as Union Textiles Minister in July after the CBI said it was investigating a complaint against him filed by C Sivasankaran, who owned Aircel in 2006.

Mr  Sivasankaran said that the minister refused to sanction him licenses critical for expanding his business. Mr Sivasankaran said he finally succumbed and agreed to sell his company to Ananda Krishnan. After the transaction, the licenses that were pending were sanctioned quickly by Mr Maran, according to him. He claimed that the minister’s brother, Kalanidhi, received an investment of nearly Rs. 800 crore in his Sun Network from Mr Ananda Krishnan’s group of companies.

The investigating agency 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.

In its report the CBI also mentioned that licences granted during the tenure of former telecom minister Arun Shourie should be investigated and the then finance minister Jaswant Singh should be questioned.

During the hearing on August 24, the CBI had informed the court that it has filed charge sheets against 17 persons including former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozi. It had said that a third chargesheet would be filed by September 15.

The list of 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 R K 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, Surrendra Pipara, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, his cousin Asif Balwa and their colleague Rajeev Agarwal and three telecom firms Reliance Telecom Ltd, Swan Telecom and Unitech (Tamil Nadu) Wireless Ltd.




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