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Ranjit Sinha doesn't favour charge-sheet against Dayanidhi Maran, CBI tells Supreme Court

Friday, 2 May 2014 - 8:15am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

CBI director Ranjit Sinha is "not in favour" of filing a charge-sheet against former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran over Aircel-Maxis deal in 2G scam, despite unanimous opinion of the investigating officers and prosecution's team to file the charge-sheet, the premier agency told it to the Supreme Court on Thursday.

Earlier this week, dna first broke the news which said officers from the rank of investigating officials to additional director working on the Airce-Maxis probe opined that CBI has prima facie enough evidence to charge-sheet Maran but Sinha is reluctant saying "evidence is not beyond reasonable doubt."

As per dna news report, CBI's status report recommending a charge-sheet against Maran was ready to be presented way back in 2013 but it got stuck due to Sinha sending it to attorney general G E Vahanvati for his opinion. It got further delayed when the senior-most law officer had returned it to the director saying his opinion is not required as the Supreme Court is monitoring the whole 2G case. However, the file was sent to AG once again for his legal opinion on the issue.

Pursuant to court's previous order, CBI and Enforcement Directorate on Thursday filed two separate status report in sealed cover before a bench of justices H L Dattu and K S Radhakrishnan.

Appearing for the petitoner NGO -- Centre for Public Interest Litigation – advocate Prashant Bhushan raised the issue before the court based on dna news item.

"CBI investigation officers and the supervising officer have opined for filing the charge-sheet and the director apparently has given a contrary view. That is why, CBI was seating over it for several months. I submit this court to call for file notings," Bhushan said.

To this submission, CBI counsel K K Venugopal told the bench that every detail is there in the report. The difference between the officers came after the Malaysian government had refused to disclose the information. Now the agency is waiting for AG's opinion.

dna report had pointed out that the Malaysian government's response was really not important for the case anymore, because CBI had got a response from the Mauritius government, which establishes money trail between the Maxis group of companies and Maran Family's company Sun Direct Pvt Ltd.

The bench, which has taken the status report on record, said the Supreme Court Registry not to open sealed cover, till its further order and fixed August 12 as next date of hearing.

CBI had started preliminary inquiry into Aircel-Maxis deal on January 4, 2011 and nine months later on October 9 had registered the FIR.

The CBI had told the apex court in September last year that it has completed its probe against former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran in the case.

It had in July, 2011, placed a status report in the court stating that during 2004-07 when Maran was telecom minister, Sivasankaran was coerced to sell the stake in Aircel to Maxis Group.

DMK MP Maran, as communication minister during UPA-I government was accused of sitting over Aircel's application for telecom licences and spectrum in more circles till after its owner Sivasankaran sold it to Maxis. Maran never wanted him to get the licences and favoured Maxis for alleged quid pro quo.

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