SC bars Aircel from trading its 2G, says can’t use assets of nation and not face its law

Aircel-Maxis case: The Supreme Court bench asked the DoT and Ministry of Communication and Telecom to devise modalities in the meantime to ensure Aircel subscribers are not affected.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: February 3, 2017 2:35 pm
Aircel-Maxis case, supreme court aircel maxis, aircel, maxis, Aircel Maxis, aircel 2g case, Aircel Maxis case, Dayanidhi Maran, aircel spectrum case, aircel maxis jurisdiction, aircel maxis deal, Kalanithi Maran, 2G court, maran brothers, india news The Supreme Court bench clarified that all earning of Aircel shall be restrained and that the prohibition shall become enforceable if Maxis and Krishnan fail to appear sit in two weeks.

Making it clear that a foreign-based company and its owners cannot be permitted to use the resources of India and make money despite frustrating the process of law, the Supreme Court Friday said that the 2G spectrum of network provider Aircel shall be seized if the Malaysia-based controller company and its owner do not appear before 2G trial court in four weeks.

WATCH VIDEO |  Aircel-Maxis Case: ED Moves Supreme Court Against Marans Acquittal By Special Court

A bench led by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar asked the Maxis group of companies and its owner Ananda Krishnan to show up before the trial court and explain their non-appearance, despite repeated summons and warrants, if they want the adverse order to be altered. “We will not allow anyone to use the assets of this country and run away from the process of law. If he (Krishnan) wants to use 2G spectrum, he must come here and face the law. He cannot use the resources of this country and not face the law,” said the bench, also comprising Justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud.

Issuing his first order in the batch of 2G cases after taking over as CJI, Justice Khehar was unequivocal: “Everyone must face the due process of law. He must present himself before the legal process. One cannot use the assets of this country and say, no I will not come there. We will not allow that.”

“Spectrum is a very valuable resource and you can make a lot of money using it. If that money is earned on account of fraud and not facing the legal process, then we cannot allow that money to be earned by anyone. If a party refuses to accept summons and to appear, then we cannot let them use the spectrum until they appear and explain themselves. They cannot defeat the process of law,” the bench said.

It maintained that all earnings of Aircel shall be restrained and that the prohibition shall become enforceable if Maxis, Krishnan and one of its directors, Augustus Ralph Marshall, fail to accept court summons and show up. The bench also stayed “selling and trading in the 2G spectrum under consideration” – an order which is likely to affect India’s biggest consolidation deal in the telecom sector whereby Reliance Communications of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group had declared merger of its mobile phone services business with Aircel.

The court order on prohibiting share-holding pattern of Aircel came after senior counsel K K Venugopal and Anand Grover, representing the CBI in 2G cases, informed the bench that RCom and Maxis had declared a financial arrangement with respect to stakes in Aircel. “It is imperative to ensure, in our considered view, that the process of law should not be permitted to be frustrated by non-service of summons on the accused,” said the bench, asking the Department of Telecom and Ministry of Communication and Information Technology to devise modalities in the meantime to ensure Aircel subscribers are not affected and that they get services from some other network provider. The government has also been asked to get the apex court order published in two leading newspapers in Malaysia so that Maxis and others are officially apprised of the mandate.

“It is also clarified that in case the proposed order is passed, it will not be open to any of the accused to raise an objection with reference to any monetary loss, emerging out of the proposed order,” stated the bench, fixing the next hearing for February 3. Meanwhile, the bench was also informed that the 2G trial court was likely to frame charges against the other accused in the matter, including former Union Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi, on January 9.

According to the CBI chargesheet, Aircel owner C Sivasankaran was arm-twisted by then minister Dayanidhi Maran to sell majority shares to Krishnan and his company Maxis in Malaysia. Maran allegedly received a bribe of Re 642 crore for this deal. Despite repeated summons and arrest warrants issued by the trial court, Krishnan and the director of Maxis did not appear before the 2G trial court, either in person or through their legal representative. During the hearing on Friday, the bench also agreed to examine whether the CBI and Enforcement Directorate should engage their own counsel and told senior advocate K K Venugopal that he should continue as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter.

“Every party has a right to choose his own counsel. We cannot thrust a lawyer on any party. Let us see who appears for them (CBI and ED),” observed the bench, while referring to a court order in September 2015 when the bench had requested Venugopal to continue appearing for the agencies as amicus. The senior counsel wanted to leave the matter in the wake of a communication he had received from an Under Secretary-level officer from the Revenue Department about his removal.

On February 3, the bench will also take up a plea by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on alleged illegalities in grant of a clearance by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to Maxis in taking over stakes in Aircel in 2006.

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  1. V
    vijay
    Jan 7, 2017 at 4:43 am
    If any one who defy the supreme courts order to come in front of it I don't know how one can ignore that unless he has some humongous protection. May be mr.Anatha krishnan may have some major Artillery protecting him.
    Reply
    1. L
      Lal
      Jan 6, 2017 at 12:01 pm
      The w exercise of prosecuting VIP cases is a farce and eye-wash. Govt., media, investigating agencies, courts seem to part of the drama. If a poor man or woman is sleeping on footpath, they will be caught and prosecuted in a matter of few days for crimes not committed by them. Make in India. VIPs and VVIPs are ruling cl and are above law.
      Reply
      1. T
        Thatchanamoorthy Vellaisamy
        Jan 6, 2017 at 12:42 pm
        The Apex court's direction to Mr.Anandakrishan of Maxis to appear before the court lt;br/gt;within the two weeks time and explain for non-appearance for the trial is a welcome one lt;br/gt;The country people well aware of the fact that the Aircell spectrum was forcefully lt;br/gt;transferred to Maxis group of companies by the then Telecom minister Mr.Maran lt;br/gt;for which he received financial benefits. This clearly shows that the culprits are tryinglt;br/gt;to make a case as weak.
        Reply
        1. K
          kannan
          Jan 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm
          People of India should thank for the Apex court for taking the might and illegitimate influence of the Marans.
          Reply
          1. I
            Indhiya kudi
            Jan 6, 2017 at 9:23 am
            Marian uses his influence till top court as his g uncle Karuna purchased corrupt and converted Balakrishnan from Kerala. UPA might have gone but paid four legged animals are still helping them.
            Reply
            1. M
              manikantan
              Jan 6, 2017 at 10:08 am
              I would appreciate that this culprits are booked and this court also take cognizance of Diaries of Sahara/Birla.
              Reply
              1. M
                manohar
                Jan 6, 2017 at 8:40 am
                Very sad to unfortunately death of ompuri filmy actor
                Reply
                1. H
                  heena
                  Jan 7, 2017 at 2:39 am
                  Time to put all marans behind bar for life time. Those loot and let looters like EX-PM shall also be booked for traitors.
                  Reply
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