Dayanidhi denies CBI claim of pressurising telecom promoter

Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran on Thursday refuted before a special court CBI’s claim that he had pressurised a Chennai-based telecom promoter to sell his stakes in Aircel to a Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006.

While arguing on framing of charges against him in the Aircel-Maxis case, the former union minister claimed that during the time period in which the alleged crime was committed, as claimed by the CBI, Chennai-based businessman C Sivasankaran was in talks with several other companies to sell his stakes in Aircel.

“There is no reason why I would try to facilitate a business transaction, which may even attract criminal charge, which was not even embryonic at that time.

“Allegations against me are that I am trying to help in Aircel and Maxis business. Am I facilitating a deal which was non-existent,” the ex-minister’s counsel argued before Special Judge O P Saini.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing on behalf of Dayanidhi, said there were initial talks in 2004 with regard to this business. “Then Aircel tried to do business with several other companies and it was only in October 2005, the business transaction between Aircel and Maxis was finalised,” the counsel said.

CBI has claimed that Dayanidhi pressurised Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Maxis Group.
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