'Dayanadhi Maran, Aircel-Maxis nexus'

Dayanadhi Maran

The Supreme Court today said the CBI probe into the allegations in Aircel-Maxis deal involving former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and a Malaysian business tycoon "prima facie indicates a nexus".

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan, which perused two reports filed in a sealed cover by the CBI, said, "The allegations levelled and investigations prima facie indicates a nexus."

The CBI told the court that it has completed the domestic investigations into the deal but the overseas probe was being delayed due to the influence of the firm's owner in Malaysia who is "powerful politically".

"We have completed the domestic probe and have to complete the investigation about the deal in Malaysia and Mauritius. Letters Rogatory have been sent to those countries.

"The gentleman in Malaysia who is involved in it is economically powerful and he is also powerful politically," the agency's counsel K K Venugopal submitted without taking any names.

The submission was made by Venugopal, who was reading the relevant portions of CBI's fresh progress report on its investigation into the 2G spectrum scam.

Maran has been accused of "forcing" Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell the stake in Aircel to a Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006 owned by Kuala Lumpur-based business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan.

The agency submitted that overseas probe was important to track the money trail as the funds for the deal had come through Mauritius.

"We have to go into the source of fund. Information is that the money came through Mauritius," the CBI counsel said adding that "we want to show the link on the source of money to show the quid-pro-quo involved in the deal."

When the bench wanted to know "why there was a delay in probe in Malaysia and Mauritius," the CBI said those countries are repeatedly seeking clarification on one or the other issues.

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