New Delhi: One of the most powerful faces in the media industry and now the prime suspect in the 2G license scam, former union minister Dayanidhi Maran and his elder brother Kalanidhi, the head of Sun Network, have been named by the CBI as the prime accused in the controversial Aircel-Maxis deal.
After a 9-month-long preliminary enquiry, the CBI has made out a prima facie case of misuse of office, and criminal conspiracy by Dayanidhi Maran in favouring Maxis-owned Airrcel when he was telecom minister between 2004 and 2007.
The FIR registered under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act alleges criminal conspiracy between Marans, Ralph Marshal and T Anandakrishnan of Maxis. The prime allegation is that Dayanidhi Maran as the telecom minister delayed granting license to Aircel to force a sell out to Maxis. As quid pro quo Maxis invested close to Rs 600 crore in Sun Direct, owned by the Marans.
The CBI was not allowed entry into the Maran household in Chennai for close to 30 minutes, while nine locations in Delhi and Chennai were also raided.
The CBI sources said that documentary evidence and depositions of former telecom secretaries nailed the case against the Marans. Already stung by the arrest of Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi and former Telecom Minister A Raja, the DMK's embarrassment gets worse with the case against the Marans. But sources said that the party is not in a position to jeopardise its ties with the Congress.
"I hope the investigations will bring out the truth and there will be no unnecessary inconvenience caused to anybody," said Law Minister Salman Khurshid.
The CBI sources said letter rogatories will be sent to Malaysia to seek access to Anandakrsihnan, who so far has not been questioned even once. But it's the possibility of yet another former UPA minister being summoned to CBI Head Quarters as an accused that should worry the Government, which is all ready fighting a losing battle on the issue of corruption.