New Delhi: After sending former Telecom Minister and prime accused in the 2G spectrum case A Raja behind bars in 2011, the CBI has now geared up to tighten the noose around former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran. The probe agency for the first time would question the minister for his alleged involvement in the irregularities in the Aircel-Maxis deal.

Notably, the CBI has already lodged an FIR against Maran in this regard.

According to a senior official of the CBI, Maran may be questioned in the second or third week of January.

Significantly, the CBI had already grilled Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran, Director of SUN Direct TV Pvt, alleging that he had received Rs 547 crores as kickbacks from the Malaysian company Maxis. However, no FIR was issued against Maran brothers then and they were questioned only as witnesses.

But spelling trouble for former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, the CBI on October 10 registered a case against him.

The CBI had also accused his brother Kalanithi Maran, Chairman of Maxis Communication T Ananda Krishnan, senior executive of Astro All Asia Network and Maxis Ralph Marshall and three companies Astro All Asia Networks, Sun Direct TV and Maxis Communications of complicity.

The probing agency had searched his residence and nine other places located at Chennai and Delhi.

According to the CBI, the Marans came under the scanner after a complaint by industrialist C Sivasankaran that he was forced to exit mobile telephone company Aircel by them when Dayanidhi Maran was the Telecom Minister.

Sivasankaran alleged that Aircel was not given telecom licences and forced to sell its holdings to Malaysia-based Maxis group, owned by T Ananda Krishnan.

JPN/Bureau