New Delhi: CBI has questioned executive director of Apollo Hospital Suneeta Reddy on the alleged role of former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran in the takeover of Aircel by Malaysian group Maxis.
The agency is probing the allocation of spectrum during 2001-07 and it has questioned Maran, his brother Kalanidhi and top executive of Maxis group Ralph Marshall as former Aircel chief C Shivasankaran had alleged he was forced by the minister to sell his stake.
Reddy was asked to clarify her interests in Aircel, agency sources said. Reddy had held the position of chairperson of Aircel in 2005, according to annual reports of the group for the fiscal ending 31 March, 2006.
Maxis Communications has 74% share in the Aircel while 26% is owned by Sindya Securities and Investments, according to Aircel website.
Reddy family is said to be stakeholders in Sindya Securities and Investments and its promoters, sources said.
According to annual report of the Apollo group for 2009-10, Suneeta Reddy’s profile mentioned that she held external directorship in Aircel as well as Sindya Securities and Investments limited.
The Apollo Hospitals in a statement said, “Apollo Hospitals Group and its chairman Dr Prathap C Reddy do not have any investment in Aircel or any other telecom company.”
“The Sindya Securities and Investments Pvt Ltd promoted by P Dwarakanath Reddy and Suneeta Reddy have investments in Aircel entity and this is a strategic investment in telecom sector, which was a growing business opportunity,” the statement said.
The group said in its statement that the investments of Sindya Securities and Investments Pvt Ltd in Aircel Ltd have been in compliance with applicable laws of India and all regulatory consents/approvals, wherever required, have been sought and duly granted by the relevant authorities.
Maran is alleged to have granted 14 licences to Dishnet Wireless (Aircel) during his tenure as telecom minister.
It has been alleged by Sivasankaran that Maran favoured Maxis-group in the takeover of his company and in return investments were made by the company through Astro network in Sun TV owned by Maran family.
The CBI in its recent status report to the Supreme Court had said that during Maran’s tenure there was “deliberate delay” to provide letter of intent to Sivasankaran.
The agency had said after Aircel was sold to Maxis investments were made by the Malaysian firm into the family business of Marans.
The allegations were denied by Marans.
Former aides of Maran had reportedly told CBI that the processing of the files of Sivasankaran was delayed allegedly at the direction of the minister, agency sources claimed.
CBI is looking into financial transactions of Sun TV and Maxis. Besides, it is also looking into various aspects of takeover of Aircel by Maxis group, the sources said.
The probe agency has already registered a preliminary enquiry on issues in 2G spectrum allocation between 2001-07.