Dayanidhi Maran denies CBI claim of pressurising telecom promoter

New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS) Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran on Thursday denied in a Delhi court the CBI claim that he had put pressure on a Chennai-based telecom promoter C. Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006.

Maran’s lawyer told CBI Special Judge O.P. Saini that during the time the Central Bureau of Investigation said the alleged crime took place, Sivasankaran was in talks with several other companies to sell his stakes in Aircel.

The CBI had accused Maran of forcing Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in these three companies to Maxis Communications Berhad, also an accused in the case.

The court was hearing arguments on the framing of charges against Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and other accused in the Aircel-Maxis case.

The CBI filed a chargesheet against the Maran brothers, Ralph Marshall, T. Ananda Krishnan, Messers Sun Direct TV (P) Ltd., Astro All Asia Networks Plc of UK, Maxis Communications Berhad, South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd. of Malaysia and the then Additional Secretary (Telecommunications) late J.S. Sarma.

The chargesheet was filed under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and other relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.