Businessman Kalanithi Maran on Saturday told a special court that CBI’s claim that he had pressurised a Chennai-based telecom promoter to sell his stakes in Aircel to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006, was false and the complainant was himself eager for the business. While arguing on framing of charges against him in the Aircel-Maxis case, the accused told the Special Judge O P Saini that he was falsely implicated in the case.
“C Sivasankaran’s (complainant) claim that he was forced to sell his stakes is nothing but a tissue of lies. This is just a false implication. We cannot fight political battle through legal means…
“It was Sivasankaran who was keen to do business as quick as possible. Maran did not force him to sell his stake and it was Sivasankaran who was pressurising Maxim to do the deal with it, which was done to maximise his own profit,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Maran said.
On October 20, Maran’s brother and former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran had also refuted CBI’s claim that he had pressurised Sivasankaran in the deal.
CBI has claimed that Maran brothers had pressurised Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Maxis Group.
The agency had also alleged that the accused had forced Sivasankaran to sell his three companies to Malaysia’s Maxis Communication Berhad, also an accused in the case.
The arguments on the point of framing charges remained inconclusive.
CBI had filed charge sheet against the Maran brothers, Ralph Marshall, T Ananda Krishnan, M/s Sun Direct TV (P) Ltd, M/s Astro All Asia Networks Plc, UK, M/s Maxis Communications Berhad, Malaysia, and M/s South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd, Malaysia and then Additional Secretary(Telecommunication) late Dr J S Sarma.
They were chargesheeted for the offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The court had on September 24, issued open warrants of arrest against Krishnan and Marshall on CBI’s plea stating that summons issued to them could not be served.
The court had also ordered that the trial against Maran brothers and two accused companies be segregated from that of those based in Malaysia — Krishnan, Marshall, and two firms, Astro All Asia Network PLC and Maxis Communication Berhad, saying their appearance may take a long time which may lead to a delay in the proceedings.