New Delhi: Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran has come under the Supreme Court's scanner in the 2G Spectrum allocation scam with the CBI raking up his role in "forcing" a Chennai-based telecom promoter to sell his stakes in Aircel to a Malaysian firm in 2006.

   
The agency, which placed its 71-page fresh status report about the 2G scam, said that during 2004-07 when Maran was Telecom Minister, the promoter C Sivasankaran, was forced to sell the stake in Aircel to a Malaysian firm Maxis Group.
   
Senior Advocate K K Venugopal, who read the status report before a bench of justice G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly, did not take Maran’s name but stated that the Chennai business man was not granted UAS licence for two years.
   
It said that the Malaysian firm was favoured by Maran and was granted licence within six months after taking over the Aircel in December 2006. Maran was the Telecom Minister between February 2004 and May, 2007.

"The gentleman (promoter of Aircel) had been knocking at various doors but was left with no choice but to sell his shares to a Malaysian form," said Venugopal, representing CBI, while reading out from the status report that was filed in a sealed cover.
   
Earlier, an NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, had placed documents before the Apex Court showing the alleged role of Maran in favouring Maxis group of Malaysia which had bought Chennai-based telecom company, Aircel, owned by Siva Group, when he was Telecom Minister from 2004 to 2007.

Maran should be dropped from Cabinet: Jaya   

With Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran coming under the CBI scanner in 2G scam, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa demanded that he should be dropped from the Union Cabinet immediately.
   
Jayalalithaa also said the CBI action of accusing him of forcing a Chennai-based telecom promoter to sell stakes to a Malaysian firm has been "long overdue" and the agency has just done what the nation has been expecting from it.
   
"There is no use in expecting Dayanidhi Maran to take moral responsibility and resign. It is high time that the Prime Minister dropped him from the Union Council of Ministers," she told reporters after a meeting with Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

She was responding when asked whether she expected Maran to own moral responsibility and resign after the CBI named him in its status report in the 2G spectrum scam.
   
"It was high time that the CBI took such a step that it took on Wednesday. It was long overdue. I am happy that they have done it now," she said in response to queries on Maran being named in the CBI report.
   
Jayalalithaa has been demanding that Maran should resign from the Union Cabinet ever since allegations of receiving pay-offs in allotting spectrum to Aircel during his tenure as Telecom Minister during 2004-2007.

The agency in its report said that Maran has come under its scanner in the 2G Spectrum allocation scam.
   
In its 71-page fresh status report about the scam, the CBI said that during 2004-07 when Maran was Telecom Minister, a Chennai base telecom promoter (Sivasankaran) was forced to sell the stake in Aircel to a Malaysian firm.

Maran should step down: CPI


The CPI on demanded that Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran should step down as his position has become untenable after him coming under CBI scanner in the 2G spectrum scam.
   
"After the CBI has told the Supreme Court that Maran has come under its scanner, his position has become really untenable. He has to step down," senior party leader D Raja said here.
   
"Otherwise, the Prime Minister will be held responsible for keeping him in the Union Council of Ministers even after the CBI's statement," Raja said.
   
The agency in its report to the SC said that Maran has come under its scanner in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
   
In its 71-page fresh status report on the scam, the CBI said that during 2004-07 when Maran was the Telecom Minister, a Chennai-based telecom promoter was forced to sell the stake in Aircel to a Malaysian firm.

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(Agencies)