New Delhi: The noose is tightening around former Union minister and DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran in the Aircel-Maxis deal. Even as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the residence and offices of Maran and his brother Kalanidhi Maran across Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi on Monday, the DMK is unlikely to jeopardise ties with the Congress because of action against them.
The CBI has been claiming that it has found clinching evidence against the DMK leader in the Aircel-Maxis deal. According to the CBI Maran deliberately delayed the 2G spectrum licences to Aircel and that he showed undue favour to Maxis and in return investments were made by the company in Sun TV, which is a sister concern of Astro Netwrok.
Maran and Kalanidhi Maran, who is the Sun TV Managing Director, allegedly received kickbacks of almost Rs 600 crore after the favour shown to the Maxis Group. The main charges against Maran brothers are those of conspiracy, misuse of official position, giving bribe and accepting bribe.
The investigations against started after former Aircel chief C Sivasankaran alleged that Maran, during his tenure as the then telecom minister in UPA-I, forced him to sell his stake in the company to the Maxis Group and in return, investments were made by the company through the Astro network in Sun TV.
Even though Maran is the son of DMK chief and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi's nephew and former Union minister late Murasoli Maran, but his ties with Karunanidhi and his daughter Kanimozhi have been frosty. He was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet in 2007 following battle with the after battle within the Karunanidhi family.
He and Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi are considered to be rivals and even a sections within the DMK believe that Maran leaked information against former telecom minister A Raja and her to the CBI in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case.
Till now neither the DMK nor Karunanidhi have reacted on the CBI raids and the FIR fuelling speculations that Maran has been left to fend for himself.
With Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid saying that the CBI raid at Maran's residence are a part of the investigation and law would take its own course, it seems that the DMK leader's political as well as business future is under a cloud.
The Maran family owns Sun Network, which is a media giant and the CBI has already registered an FIR against the DMK leader and the Sun TV MD under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act in connection with the controversial Aircel-Maxis deal.
The case has been registered against under Section 120b of IPC read with 13(2) with 13 (1)(d) and also section 7 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Sun TV shares tumbled by as much as 16 per cent in early trade on the stock markets on Monday following the CBI raids.
Maxis owner T Ananda Krishnan, senior executive Ralph Marshall and three companies - Astro, Maxis and Sun TV - have also booked in the case.
With the 2G spectrum allocation case having not only political but also business implications, it seems that Marans isolation is complete and they have been left to face the music alone.