Accused because I am Dayanidhi’s brother: Kalanithi to court
Businessman Kalanithi Maran on Tuesday charged the Enforcement Directorate with cooking up an “incomplete and malicious story” to prosecute him in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case as he was the brother of former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran.
He made the submissions before Special Judge O P Saini while advancing arguments on framing of charge against him.
He is accused in the case along with his wife Kavery Kalanithi, brother Dayanidhi Maran, Managing Director of South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL) K Shanmugam, SAFL and Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL).
“I (Kalanithi) am being prosecuted because I am the brother of Dayanidhi Maran. The ED filed a case against Dayanidhi and just because Kalanithi is his brother, he is also made an accused in the case,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Kalanithi, said. The counsel said that “Kaveri is the wife of Kalanithi, and therefore she is damned”, adding that “it’s an incomplete and malicious story cooked by ED.”
He also took strong objection to ED’s claim that “there were money transactions which allegedly showed that SDTPL and SAFL had received Rs 742.58 crore as ‘proceeds of crime’ from Mauritius-based firms in the Aircel-Maxis deal.”
“It was a business transaction. All the transaction was done under the careful watch of government agencies. How can it be ‘proceeds of crime’,” the counsel asked.
The court had summoned the six accused after taking cognisance of ED’s charge sheet against them under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), saying there was “enough incriminating material” to proceed against them.
ED has chargesheeted the six accused under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). During arguments earlier, ED’s special prosecutor N K Matta had claimed that there were money transactions which allegedly showed that SDTPL and SAFL had received Rs 742.58 crore as “proceeds of crime” from Mauritius-based firms in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
The agency had claimed that “proceeds of crime” amounting to Rs 549.03 crore and Rs 193.55 crore were received by SDTPL and SAFL, allegedly controlled by co-accused Kalanithi, through various Mauritius-based entities.
The ED prosecutor had referred to the details of money transactions between these firms and alleged that SDTPL had received Rs 549.03 crore from Mauritius-based firm M/s South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd.