Info-tech

CBI raids Maran's residences in Chennai, Delhi

T.E. Raja Simhan | | Updated on: Mar 12, 2018

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday raided the residences of former Union Minister, Mr Dayanidhi Maran, in Chennai and Delhi in connection with his alleged role in the Aircel-Maxis deal, during his stint as Telecom Minister in 2006.

Mr Maran has been under the CBI scanner since June, following a complaint by an industrialist, Mr C. Sivasankaran, that he was “forced” to sell his holdings in Aircel to Malaysian firm Maxis Communications.

The dawn-to-dusk raid at Mr Maran's house on Chennai's Boat Club Road, an upmarket residential area, began at 7.30 a.m. The first round of investigations concluded at 2.55 p.m., when seven CBI officials left the residence of Mr Maran. The second batch of six officials left at 5 p.m. Though Mr Maran was not present in his house, his elder brother Mr Kalanidhi Maran, Managing Director of Sun TV Networks, who lives next door, was present during the raid. Mr M.K. Thamizarasu, third son of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr M. Karunanidhi, was also present.

BSNL officials present

It is learnt that a few officials of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd were also present during the raid. Their presence was telling because the CBI is also investigating whether there were irregularities in the provision of 323 telephone lines at the residence of Mr Dayanidhi Maran.

It is alleged that these lines were illegally linked to Sun TV's former headquarters at ‘Anna Arivalayam' in Chennai.

According to a release from CBI, the investigating agency “has registered a case against the former Union Minister Mr Dayanidhi Maran; Mr Kalanithi Maran; Mr Ralph Marshall, Director, Astro All Asia Networks PLc., U.K., and Maxis Communications Bhd., Malaysia; Mr T. Ananda Krishnan, Chairman, Usaha Tegas Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia; and ‘other' officials/persons, under Section 120-B of IPC, Sections 7, 12 and Section 13 (2) r/w 13 (1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.”

It also submitted a report on its probe into the alleged Loop-Essar linkage and the Aircel deal.

In Chennai, Sun TV's new headquarters (at MRC Nagar) and the residence and office of Ms Suneetha Reddy, Joint Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals, were also searched. While officials at Sun TV Network were not prepared to comment on this, sources in CBI office in Chennai told Business Line that searches were conducted by its officials from Delhi and “it was all over, and the officials involved in the operation have already left Chennai”.

The agency has not named Ms Reddy but has sought clarification from her. Apollo has been maintaining that Ms Reddy, who was the Chairperson of Aircel in 2005, has invested in the telecom company in her “personal capacity”.

Aircel is a joint venture of Maxis and Sindya Securities & Investments, promoted by Ms Reddy and her husband Mr P. Dwarakanath Reddy. Maxis own 74 per cent stake in the venture.

According to sources in CBI, some important documents pertaining to the case have been seized from Ms Reddy's office premises.

Published on October 10, 2011
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