Aircel-Maxis case: A timeline of events that led to the Marans being discharged

Here’s a timeline of how the Aircel-Maxis case has unfolded over the years


Former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran who was discharged from all charges in the Aircel-Maxis case along with other accused. Photo: Mint
Former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran who was discharged from all charges in the Aircel-Maxis case along with other accused. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: Special Public Prosecutor, Anand Grover, on Friday moved the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the special courts order discharging Dayanidhi Maran, Kalanithi Maran and others in the Aircel-Maxis case.

Grover mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India, J. S Khehar, and said that the discharge order had been wrongly passed without furnishing of bail bonds by the accused. He also sought on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that the properties attached under the order may not be released.

The court asked Grover to file his application and said that the matter would be taken up with the main case regarding cancellation of Aircel’s 2G spectrum license at 2pm today.

Here’s a timeline of how the Aircel-Maxis case has unfolded over the years:

2 February 2017: A special CBI court dropped all charges brought by both CBI and ED against Dayanidhi and others accused in the Aircel-Maxis case.

27 January: The deadline for Maxis Group owner T. Ananda Krishnan, who has a 74% stake in Aircel to appear before the special CBI court.

24 January: A consortium of banks led by the SBI moves SC seeking to be heard before the court decides to cancel Aircel’s use of the 2G licences it acquired in 2006.

“Aircel owes the banks around Rs20,000 crore. Any order on 2G airwaves could have an impact on the creditors,” attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared on behalf of 12 banks, including SBI, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank told the court.

9 January: Special judge O.P. Saini, who was scheduled to pass the order on Monday on framing of charges as well as on the bail applications of the Maran brothers and other accused persons in the Aircel-Maxis case, deferred it to 18 January, saying the order was yet to be prepared.

6 January: SC says it will cancel Aircel’s 2G spectrum licence if Maxis Group’s owner T. Ananda Krishnan continues to evade appearance before Indian courts. It also restrained Aircel Ltd from selling and trading 2G spectrum allotted to it in 2006, casting a shadow on the proposed merger between the company and Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications Ltd (R-Com).

20 November 2016: A special court reserves its order on the issue of framing charges. It will pronounce the orders on framing of charge as well as on bail applications of the Maran brothers and other accused persons on 30 November.

17 October: The Supreme Court dismissed a plea challenging the jurisdiction of a special 2G court to hear the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case. South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd and South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL), two of the accused told the court that they could not be held accused under the main 2G case since they were not involved in the issue of grant of 2G licences.

24 September: The special CBI issued open bailable warrants against two Malaysian nationals, T. Ananda Krishnan and Augustus Ralph Marshall, who are accused in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case. It also decided to split the trial in the case between other accused who are already appearing before the court, including the Maran brothers, and those who are not appearing before the court, such as the two Malysian accused.

17 September: A special CBI court had rejected Marans’ challenge to its jurisdiction. The court is hearing two separate cases in the Aircel-Maxis case—one being probed by CBI and the other by the ED.

26 August: The Delhi high court declines to interfere with CBI’s probe into the Aircel-Maxis deal. It wants allegations to be placed before the special court designated to hear all cases related to irregularities in the 2008 2G spectrum allocation.

1 August: CBI moves an application in a special CBI court, seeking arrest warrants against two Malaysian nationals and two companies (Maxis Communication Berhad and Astro All Asia Network Plc) accused in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.

1 February: ED files chargesheet against Dayanidhi, Kalanithi and Kaveri Maran (wife of Kalanithi Maran). ED told CBI judge O.P. Saini that two Mauritius-based companies routed Rs742.58 crore to Dayanidhi through Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd (SDTPL) and SAFL. SDTPL and SAFL are owned by Kalanithi and Kaveri.

1 December 2015: The tax officials and ED raided the premises of some business associates of Karthi Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P. Chidambaram as part of a larger probe into suspected irregularities in Aircel-Maxis case.

10 June: The Madras high court dismisses petitions filed by Kalanithi-owned Sun TV and Kal Communications challenging the attachment of their properties by ED in connection with money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal.

1 April 2015: ED attaches assets worth Rs742.58 crore in the name of the Maran brothers and other family members in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal.

16 March: Marans challenge CBI court’s jurisdiction.

December 2014: CBI examines P. Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis deal probe. He was examined on the charge that the finance minister was competent for giving sanction only upto Rs600 crore, way above the said deal.

29 October: Maran brothers summoned as accused. CBI has also named four companies including Sun Direct TV and Maxis Communication as accused.

29 August: CBI files chargesheet against Maran brothers in the case. The chargesheet names nine accused, also including Maxis Group owner Krishnan and Augustus Ralph Marshall.

28 August: SC rejects Maran’s plea to restrain CBI in the case. The former telecom minister had contended that CBI hasn’t completed investigations against him, and thus cannot file a chargesheet at this stage.

July 2013: SC asks CBI to bring the Aircel-Maxis probe to a logical conclusion, as a year has passed after registration of the case.

November 2012: SC asks Indian High Commission in Malaysia to extend full cooperation to CBI in its probe into the Aircel-Maxis deal.

February 2012: ED registers money laundering case against Maran brothers in connection with alleged illegal gratification related to the deal

October 2011: CBI files FIR against Maran brothers, Maxis owner Krishnan and others. Conducts raids in Dayanidhi’s house.

■May 2011: C. Sivasankaran, founder of Aircel, files a complaint with the CBI alleging that he was coerced to sell the stake to Maxis.

March 2006: Malaysian firm Maxis Communication buys 74% stake in Aircel.

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