ED challenges Trial Court order in Aircel-Maxis case
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]W[/dropcap]hile the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is still in snoozing-I-am-thinking-of-waking-up mode, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday filed a Review Petition in Delhi High Court against the 2G trial court’s discharge of Maran brothers and Sun TV Group and Maxis Group companies in the Aircel-Maxis scam. The petition filed on May 2, challenged the trial court order, arguing that the trial Judge O P Saini’s order erred in considering the many provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanidhi Maran were saved from the case due to CBI’s inaction in charge-sheeting the former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the kingpin of the Aircel-Maxis scam.
In its petition, ED said that the 2G Court failed to treat their case as a standalone one, which detailed the clear money trail of Maxis Group of companies to Maran brothers family owned Sun TV Group. ED’s move has literally collapsed the Maran family’s attempts to retrieve their attached properties worth Rs.700 crores ($109 million). The agency said that the trial court failed to file the basic principle of lifting the corporate veil in fraudulent deals and never considered the provisions defining money laundering. Was this a case of deliberate sloppiness?
The 2G Special Court “discharged all the accused persons on the ground that in the CBI case, found no prima facie case warranting framing of charge against any of the accused, and apparently the entire case of the investigation agencies was based on misreading of official files and the contradictory and speculative statement of the witness.”
“The Court has not considered legal submissions on the subject of illegal acts committed by the corporate entities involved in the matter and the settled principles on piercing the corporate veil, and therefore as a result, has failed to appreciate the roles Kalanidhi Maran and wife Kaveri Maran and their use of Maran Group of companies in committing illegal acts,” said the arguments of ED in the Revision Petition.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he ED also said that the 2G Court Judge O P Saini’s discharge order wholly ignored the statement recorded by the agency from the accused persons and accused companies. The detailed petition said that in many instances the trial court failed to distinguish the Rs.700 crore ($109 million) valued money laundering, the booty received by Sun TV Group in the Aircel-Maxis Scam.
Due to CBI’s dillydallying, the ED also lost the case. Now at least ED has challenged the trial court’s discharge order.
Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanidhi Maran were saved from the case due to CBI’s inaction in charge-sheeting the former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the kingpin of the Aircel-Maxis scam. The scam originated due to the illegal Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval given by Chidambaram. Though CBI in its charge sheet declared the illegalities committed by Chidambaram, the agency under the pressure of Lutyen’s Delhi corrupt politicians, never provided any proof to the Court.
Due to CBI’s dillydallying, the ED also lost the case. Now at least ED has challenged the trial court’s discharge order. CBI, which is supposed to act first, is still sleeping. If ED has not acted, the Marans would have retrieved their attached property. The question is why CBI under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is showing tardiness in acting on the Aircel-Maxis scam. Who is intervening into CBI’s affairs, even after the agency declared the probe on illegalities of Chidambaram in Supreme Court in April? Who is pressurising CBI to go slow on Chidambaram to save him and Maran brothers? The nation wants to know.
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 64.08 Rupees.
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