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Another minister exposed in the 2G scam

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Dayanidhi Maran of DMK

Dayanidhi Maran of DMK

The dirt in India’s largest scam continues to come to light. NDTV summarizes the CBI’s deposition to the Supreme Court on Juky 6:

Mr Maran’s stature as a political liability was considerably expanded yesterday after the CBI said it had “preliminary evidence” against him in the telecom scam, which also cost the DMK’s A Raja his job as Telecom Minister and landed him in Tihar Jail.

Mr Maran was Telecom Minister from 2004 to 2007. Mr Raja succeeded him. Both their tenures, according to the CBI, were littered with financial malpractices.

The last few weeks have witnessed an accelerated investigation by the CBI on accusations that Mr Maran misused his office as Telecom Minister and followed a Friend and Family plan.

C Sivasankaran, who owned Aircel, testified to the CBI that he was denied critical licenses by Mr Maran till he finally agreed to sell his company to Maxis, an empire headquartered in Malaysia and owned by T Anandakrishnan. The CBI said yesterday that Mr Sivasankaran’s allegations do not appear baseless. And that the minister ignored “unanimous” consent from other telecom officials to deliberately delay the licenses Mr Sivasankaran needed. Once Maxis bought the company, the licenses appeared. And Mr Anandakrishnan pumped close to Rs. 800 crores into Sun TV, owned by Mr Maran’s brother.

Details of the CBI’s deposition were reported by IE:

It was the deposition of former telecom secretary Nripendra Misra before the CBI on the delay in granting new licences to Aircel in 2004-05 that sealed Dayanidhi Maran’s fate. The CBI’s status report on 2G scam filed before the Supreme Court on Wednesday says it was Maran who forced C Sivasankaran to sell his company to Maxis of Malaysia. The CBI report does not address the conflict of interest issue raised by Sivasankaran while pointing out that Maran’s refusal to grant Aircel licences forced him to sell out — Siva pointed out that within a few months of Maxis getting licences from Maran, a group company Astro picked up a stake in his brother’s Sun Network.

Misra, who was telecom secretary from February 1, 2004, to March 30, 2005, told the CBI that he had no role in the matter of the delay of licences and he merely complied with the minister’s orders relating to scrutiny of Aircel applications by sending them to the relevant departmental sections. While leaving office, he directed his officials that as and when the scrutiny sought by the minister is over, the matter be placed before his successor. This was the last note he wrote on March 30, 2005, his last day in office.

The denouement is reported by TOI:

A day after he was nailed by the CBI in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, Union textile minister Dayanidhi Maran on Thursday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and handed over his resignation.

Maran’s resignation came minutes after the cabinet meeting ended.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

July 7, 2011 at 11:30 am

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