New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a challenge brought by South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd, one of the accused in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case, against the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court’s jurisdiction to take up the matter.
A bench headed by justice J. S. Khehar said the matter would be taken up on 27 September.
On 17 September, a special CBI court had rejected Marans’ challenge to its jurisdiction by classifying the case as a non-2G spectrum case and held that it would hear it.
Harish Salve, appearing for South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd, told the court that the Aircel-Maxis case could not be considered to be a “2G spectrum case” and it would be erroneous to hold that the special CBI court has jurisdiction to hear it.
He added that the case dealt with allegations other than those related to the allocation of 2G spectrum and should be treated as a separate and distinct case. The Aircel-Maxis case is related to allegations that then telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran had forced Aircel owner C. Sivasankaran to transfer his ownership to Maxis Communications Berhad in 2006.
The Malaysian company, in return, invested in Kalanithi Maran’s Sun Direct, the direct-to-home TV arm of his Sun TV Network Ltd.
Besides the Maran brothers, T. Ananda Krishnan and Augustus Ralph Marshall, the court had also summoned four companies—Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd, Maxis Communication Bhd, South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd and Astro All Asia Network Plc—as accused in the case.
Last month, CBI had sought issue of arrest warrants against two Malaysian nationals and two companies (Maxis Communication Berhad and Astro All Asia Network Plc) accused in the case as summons had not been served on them.
The case will be heard on 27 September.