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Government leaves Dayanidhi Maran case to CBI, JPC

Maran, who is now Textiles Minister from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), is facing allegations of bending rules for granting 14 licences to Aircel during his tenure as telecom minister.

twitter-logoPTI | June 4, 2011 | Updated 11:33 IST

The government is understood to have left it to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to look into the alleged irregularities in the grant of licences to Aircel, which is owned by Maxis Telecom of Malaysia, and the involvement of former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran in it.

Maran, who is now Textiles Minister from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK ), is facing allegations of bending rules for granting 14 licences to Dishnet Wireless (now Aircel) during his tenure as telecom minister between 2004 and 2007.

Sources in the Telecom Ministry said report of the one man committee Shivraj Patil, which also went into the procedures followed by the Deaprtment of Telecommunications (DoT) from 2001 onwards in grant of licence and spectrum allocation, was handed over to CBI in February.

Sources pointed out, however, that Aircel applied for licences before the UPA-I came to power and DoT officials had raised some objections against the application.

Patil report, on the other hand, had pointed out unnecessary delay in grant of licences to Aircel.

According to allegations, Maran family-owned Sun TV Network was a beneficiary of pay-offs by an overseas telecom firm and the CBI has started a "preliminary investigation" against Maran.

According to the lawsuit, after Aircel was taken over Maxis, Sun TV received substantial investment from Maxis Group, which took 20 per cent equity in Sun Direct.

Meanwhile, Maran has said he did not favour any company in granting UASL licence when he was telecom minister, even as political parties BJP and AIADMK have called for his resignation on this issue.

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