CBI’s inaction against Chidambaram led to Maran’s discharge in Aircel-Maxis scam

Was not moving against Chidambaram deliberate so the Maran brothers could escape?

Was not moving against Chidambaram deliberate so the Maran brothers could escape?
Was not moving against Chidambaram deliberate so the Maran brothers could escape?
India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s sheer inaction against the former Finance Minister P Chidambaram for dubious approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to Malaysian company Maxis to take over Aircel, resulted in the discharge of former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and brother Sun TV Group head Kalanidhi Maran. For the past 30 months the CBI has not turned up in the 2G Court after promising in August 2014 to finish the probe on FIPB violations committed by Chidambaram.

Swamy’s version was that Maran only conspired with Chidambaram in illegally bringing Maxis to India.

Maran’s name cropped up in Aircel-Maxis scam in April 2011, when CBI received complaint from Aircel promoter Sivasankaran, alleging that he was arm twisted by the Telecom Minister in 2006 to sell his company to Maxis. CBI went ahead with the arm-twisting theory and stated in Supreme Court on July 7, 2011 leading to Maran’s exit from UPA Cabinet. CBI filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Maran in September 2011 along with brother, Maxis owners T Ananadakrishnan and Ralph Marshall and companies including the Sun TV Group.  Still it is a mystery, as to why Sivasankaran approached CBI against Maran in 2011 on arm-twisting that happened five years ago.

Aircel-Maxis scam shook the Congress, when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy (then in Janata Party) in April 2012, exposed the role of Chidambaram in the scam and money trail to his son Karti linked firm of around Rs.26 lakhs. Then Swamy went to Supreme Court’s 2G cases monitoring Bench arguing that CBI’s Maran arm-twisting theory was not fully correct and that the actual crime started after P Chidambaram granted the bogus FIPB clearance. Swamy’s version was that Maran only conspired with Chidambaram in illegally bringing Maxis to India.

After Chidambaram was caught, the case went into deep freeze till the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) exited from power. CBI, in August 2014, after pressure from Supreme Court on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Prashant Bhushan, charge sheeted Maran and others in August 2014, detailing the illegalities of Chidambaram. CBI promised  in charge sheet and in arguments of finishing soon on the probe on Chidambaram’s illegalities. Though Chidambaram was questioned by CBI in December 2014, CBI did not move an inch due to stalling by allegedly the then pliant CBI Director Anil Sinha and covert operations of the then Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das (Das has since been shunted out to be the Secretary of Economic Affairs).

But as FIPB Chairperson Chidambaram did not take it to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs(CCEA).

In the Discharge Order on February 2, 2017, Special Judge of 2G Court OP Saini clearly says that CBI just jumped on Sivasankaran’s complaints and never provided evidence of arm-twisting.  The main illegality was committed by Chidambaram in dubiously giving the FIPB clearance. How can Maran be fixed after the FIPB clearance? Without Chidambaram there is no case against Maran.

What were the illegalities of Chidambaram exposed by Subramanian Swamy and later ratified by the CBI and the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)?

  1. Aircel-Maxis deal is around Rs.3600 cr. ($535 million) But as FIPB Chairperson Chidambaram did not take it to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs(CCEA). This is the only FDI he did not take to CCEA. Why? Because MHA clearance would have been needed as Saudi Telecom, which has telecom operations in Pakistan has shares in Maxis.

  2. That time only 74% FDI was allowed. But using a circuitous route Maxis got 99.93% ownership, which they declared to the Malaysian Stock Exchange.

  3. 74% of the stake was sold at more than Rs. 3600 crores ($535 million) but the remaining 25.93% was sold at just Rs.28 cr. ($4.2 million) It should have been sold at around Rs.1200 cr. ($178 million)

  4. Later CAG found out that the actual money that came was Rs. 4900 cr. ($728 million) though approved by FIPB(illegally) was Rs.3600 cr.). The extra Rs.1300 cr. ($193 million) was a kickback.

  5. ED now summoned Karti in Oct 2016. The five page summons order says to bring 2 lakh dollar his company Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd received from three Maxis companies after father approved this dubious deal.

The million dollar question is who in this BJP-led government protected Chidambaram and son Karti from CBI and ED charge sheeting? Not doing this of the main culprit Chidambaram led to the discharge of Maran brothers. When is CBI going to act on this grave miscarriage of justice?

The 424 page Discharge Order  is published below:

2G Court Discharge Order on Marans in Aircel-Maxis Case Feb 2, 2017 by PGurus on Scribd



Note:
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 67.28 Rupees.
2. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Nothing will move in all these cases till the election results. And if BJP gets to form Govt in up goa and uttarakhand, then things should start moving. Govt is short of majority in rajya sabha and mood of the public can be gauged by the results only.

  2. Sir,
    If FIPB were doing such a great job of regulating, so much that it could get Chidambaram into trouble, why is there no opposition to the finance minister’s budget speech proposal to phase out FIPB and to replace it by the automatic route? Have we forgotten 1991 crisis? Looks like the regulatory framework is being weakened. I would appreciate respected Team PGurus’ views on it. I wish I could research some more on it!

  3. If I’m right, the Govt is taking a calculated risk of not interfering with the activities of the investigative agencies, whether it’s CBI, ED, IT or whatever. Our PM also mentioned in one of the interviews that he didn’t start a single file against the previous or Opposition Govts; he just let the investigation agencies do their jobs without interference. And all the investigation agencies have black sheep who help criminals of the past Govts by deliberately mishandling cases, esp taking advantage of the Govt’s hands-off approach.

    While this is the right thing for the Govt to do, this can come to haunt the Govt as well, since people expect the Govt, not just the investigation agencies, to bring wrong-doers to book.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I think the Govt should find a way out of this mess.

  4. PC and modi are too close to book PC in any courtcase.. Somehow, modi liking PC to place a check on jaitley or swamy .. modi is too suspeciuos and afraid of Jaitley, swamy if they override him in economics ,finances understanding of the country…

  5. Kindly spare the people from report/ing unpunished/hypocritical cases of corruption by politicians; reported by MSM/opposition parties as if the world has come to an end, one day and forget all about them when they find another sensation to dwell on.On the current list of plucking hairs from a rug are 1-Who got him the loan and let Mallya out and 2-Acquital of Marans which was exposed with much fanfare.
    No wonder tall political criminals/convicts and accused repose full faith on our legal system!
    PS-No, I didn’t feel the need to read this report in full.

  6. One small error- Dayanidhi Maran was exited from UPA not because of Mxis or BSNL exchange cases- His family newspaper Tamil Daily Dinakaran has posted a survey that Dayanidhi Maran has more followers in DMK than Mr Azagiri Karunanidhi and 3 staff were died in Madurai Dinakaran office. That led to split between Mr Karunanidhi and Mr Dayanidhi Maranb., that was the reason for his ministerial exit. Lets try to write right history please

  7. Sir, the fact that the bsnl isdn lines were instrumental in establishment of SUN TV overseas, which has resulted in super-massive profits should also be considered and not the losses to BSNL alone

  8. this govt is as worst as UPA.UPA looted the country,this stupid govt sitting blindly on it. karti never appeared b4 ED and whole system behaves as mute spectator.

  9. Good side of these shenanigans of the joker party makes it easier and clearer for voters that 56″ is all show and no substance.AS exposed him way back as a headline seeker.This insipid version of congress which is ruling us needs a total sidelining.Cannot think of a more flotsam and getsam assembled in position of power lead by a neutered general living in cuckoo land.Middle class which voted overwhelmingly will realise that it people like DrSwamy who will take on corruption and the cases which DrSwamy has filed when it comes to judgement will make him nationally popular and pave the way for him to change the destiny of this nation under the clutch of the corrupt crooked mafia.

  10. Prof. R vaidyanathan has put it beautifully on twitter :

    “Every passing day the credibility of the Govt is going down–u can’t be pleasant to PC and talk about scams–time is running out:) “

  11. Modi does nothing – as per J’s instructions. And J’s legal appointments like Rohatgi ensure the Gov fails to deliver and acts as an impediment to justice. Let me admit- I was also initially pro Modi till i discovered he was all talk but no action and that he is just a puppet. Possibly the unwritten rule – scratch each others back. And fool the people
    Swamy is the only one honestly and really working towards exposing the scams.

  12. “That time only 74% FDI was allowed. But using a circuitous route Maxis got 99.93% ownership, which they declared to the Malaysian Stock Exchange.”
    This part is not true. They had option to raise their stake – if / when this was allowed by GoI. This is a very common practice followed all over the world (and in India as well); eg, options for foreign partners in insurance JVs in India; HSBC’s option to raise its stake in Bank of Communications (if / when so allowed), etc.

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