Free Press Journal

Aircel-Maxis: Maran illegally generated Rs 742.58 cr, says ED


Dayanidhi Maran

New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran had generated funds worth Rs 742.58 crore through illegal means and there was sufficient prima facie material to proceed against him and other accused in the Aircel-Maxis deal related money laundering case, the ED claimed today. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleged in the special court that Dayanidhi had obtained “illegal gratification” of Rs 742.58 crore and the money was “parked” in the firms of his brother Kalanithi Maran, a co-accused, by projecting it as untainted.

ED’s special prosecutor Naveen Kumar Matta argued that the accused had actively participated in receiving the proceeds of crime through various Mauritius-based entities. “In this case, we have qualified the proceeds of crime. An illegal gratification of Rs 742.58 crore was obtained by Dayanidhi Maran as a result of criminal activity. Rs 742.58 crore was generated by him through illegal means,” Matta told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

The agency said that as far as scheduled offence was concerned, the court had already taken cognisance of CBI’s charge sheet against the two Maran brothers and others in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.

“As far as scheduled offence is concerned, cognisance has already been taken. The CBI’s charge sheet says about payment of illegal gratification to Dayanidhi Maran,” it said. Detailing the role of Dayanidhi in the case, ED said “by committing the offence as alleged by the CBI in its charge sheet, he had generated funds of Rs 742.58 crore as proceeds of crime as quid-pro-quo.”

“At this stage, there are sufficient prima facie materials to proceed against these accused,” the ED said. After hearing the submissions, the court said, “Argumentson the point of cognisance heard. Since records of the case are voluminous, put up for further arguments on February 6.” Besides Dayanidhi, ED has named Kalanithi Maran, his wife Kavery Kalanithi, K Shanmugam, Managing Director of M/s South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL), and two firms — M/s Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL) and SAFL — as accused in the case filed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).