New Delhi: The Aircel-Maxis deal “fairly and squarely falls within the description of 2G scam”, a special court on Saturday said while holding that it has the jurisdiction to try the matter against former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran.
Special Judge O P Saini passed the order while dismissing the pleas of the Maran brothers and other accused challenging the jurisdiction of the special 2G court to try two cases filed by CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Aircel-Maxis deal, claiming that these matters do not directly or indirectly fall into the category of 2G spectrum cases.
The court rejected the contention of the accused that the cases were not covered by “irregularities” directed to be investigated by the Supreme Court.
“It is a fact that instant cases are based on delay in grant of Letters of Intent (LOIs), licences, spectrum and other regulatory approvals. This delay was unjustifiably long and, as such falls within the meaning of irregularity as explained by the Supreme Court… Irregularities committed by delaying disposal of applications are well within the sweep of the directions…Furthermore, irregularities arising out of delay were also adversely commented upon by the CAG as extracted above. Hence, there is no merit in the submissions that these cases are not part of the 2G Scam,” the court held.
“The instant cases relate to alleged irregularities committed by delaying processing of applications in violation of time-frame prescribed by the guidelines, which led to further events leading to the filing of the instant cases,” it said on the plea that only one matter involved former minister A Raja and other could be termed as a 2G case.
In the case of ED, six pleas challenging jurisdiction of the court was filed by the Maran brothers, Mr Kalanithi’s wife Kavery Kalanithi, K Shanmugam, M/s South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd, M/s Sun Direct TV (P) Limited and M/s South Asia FM Ltd.
ED had filed the charge sheet against six accused under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). In the case filed by CBI, the jurisdiction pleas were moved by both the Maran brothers, M/s Sun Direct TV (P) Ltd and M/s South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd.
CBI had filed its 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 Bhd, Malaysia, and M/s South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd, Malaysia and then Additional Secretary (Telecommunications) late Dr J S Sarma.
All the accused persons in both the cases have also moved bail pleas which the court is likely to decide on September 21, the next date of hearing in the case.