The CBI FIR is under review and the ED may register its Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) equivalent to a police complaint under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) provisions
New Delhi: India’s premier investigation agency, Enforcement Directorate (ED), may register a money laundering case against the Maran brothers and others in connection with the controversial Aircel-Maxis deal case in which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has alleged former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran had received Rs547 crore as bribe.
The CBI Monday carried out searches at the residences of Dayanidhi and nine other locations after registering a case against him, his brother Kalanithi Maran, SUN Direct TV director, 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.
ED sources privy to the development said the CBI FIR is under review and the agency may register its Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) equivalent to a police complaint under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) provisions.
The ED had earlier issued notices to telecom firm Aircel for alleged contraventions of foreign exchange rules in connection with 2G spectrum allocation case.
“CBI has registered case against the Maran brothers, Ralph Marshall and T Ananda Krishnan and three companies under section 120b of IPC (criminal conspiracy) read with 13(2) with 13 (1)(d) and also section 7 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. A case was registered on 9th October. Searches were conducted at Delhi and Chennai,” CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said here.
It has been alleged by former Aircel chief C Sivasankaran that Mr Maran, as the then telecom minister, had 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 the Maran family.
The government and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that Mr Chidambaram, who was finance minister at the time of allotment of spectrum, was not in direct communication with the then telecom minister A Raja in determining the price of the radio waves
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday reserved its order on the plea for a probe into the alleged role of home minister P Chidambaram in the second generation (2G) scam after a spirited defence of him from the government and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), both of which maintained that no case has been made out against him, reports PTI.
They said that Mr Chidambaram, who was finance minister at the time of allotment of spectrum, was not in direct communication with the then telecom minister A Raja in determining the price of the radio waves.
“The records show that there was no meeting between Mr Raja and Mr Chidambaram throughout this period and before 10 January 2008 and that all the discussion papers were seen and routed through the finance secretary to the finance minister and all the correspondence was seen and routed through the finance secretary,” the Centre submitted before a bench of justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly.
However, the NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) and Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy refuted the claims of the CBI and the Centre that Mr Chidambaram was not in the picture till 10 January 2008 when the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) headed by Mr Raja issued 122 Letters of Intent (LoIs) to telecom companies without following the policy of auction.
The bench, which also reserved its order on the plea of setting up a committee like Special Investigating Team (SIT) to monitor the probe in the case and to direct the CBI to investigate the role of Mr Chidambaram, was told by the probe agency that no case was made out against him.
“No case is made out to issue any direction to the CBI for further investigation,” CBI's counsel and senior advocate KK Venugopal submitted while placing another status report on the progress in the case.
An identical stand was taken by Centre’s senior counsel PP Rao, who said the view taken by the CBI after studying all the documents and those placed by intervener cannot be said to be perverse or motivated.
Mr Rao criticised the reporting of the 2G case saying media picks up half-baked information without realising the consequences and they were trying to ‘destabilise’ the system without any justification.
Counsel for Reliance Telecom Mukul Rohtagi complained that media reported the observations of the court during the proceedings on an earlier hearing despite a caution by the bench.
He pleaded that the contents of the status report prepared by the CBI should not be read out in the open court.
CPIL’s counsel Prashant Bhushan and Mr Swamy contended that throughout the finance ministry officials and the finance secretary were advocating for the allocation of spectrum throughout auction and Mr Chidambaram was apprised of what was going on.
“Mr Chidambaram was consistently apprised of what was going on. Till 30 November 2007 Mr Chidambaram was apprised of what Mr Raja was up to,” Mr Swamy said.
Mr Bhushan said “the officials were overruled by the finance minister (Mr Chidambaram).”
“There was tripartite meeting going on between DoT, finance ministry and the PMO as to what should be done,” he said
Mr Swamy supported Mr Bhushan’s arguments and said “well before 15 January 2008 Mr Chidambaram was aware what was going on.”
“There is a general negative sentiment prevailing in the market due to various reasons. Interest rates and fuel prices are going up. Besides, developments in the Europe are also not encouraging,” SIAM president S Sandilya told reporters
New Delhi: The Indian automobile industry today significantly lowered the passenger car sales growth forecast for 2011-12 to 2%-4% due to lower output at Maruti Suzuki because of labour issues, and higher lending rates, reports PTI.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had earlier revised the sales forecast for FY11-12 downwards for the passenger cars at 10%-12% in July against 16%-18% announced at the beginning of the fiscal.
“There is a general negative sentiment prevailing in the market due to various reasons. Interest rates and fuel prices are going up. Besides, developments in the Europe are also not encouraging,” SIAM president S Sandilya told reporters here.
Besides, the labour unrest that is severely impacting productions at Maruti Suzuki India’s (MSI) Manesar plant has also affected the car sales growth of the industry, he added.
“Maruti produces and sells 50% of the market’s cars. So, any negative incidents happening at Maruti Suzuki will obviously impact the industry,” Mr Sandilya said.
In the April-September period this fiscal, domestic car sales declined by 1.36% to 9,09,283 units from 9,21,812 units in the year-ago period.
MSI’s sales in this period also fell by 11.55% to 3,90,878 units from 4,41,899 units in the same period in 2010.
The total passenger vehicles segment is now estimated to grow by 4%-6% in this fiscal compared to 10%-12% projected in July. It was at first projected to grow at 16%-18% in the beginning of this fiscal.
Utility vehicle sales is likely to surge by 9%-11% now compared to 10%-12% announced earlier.
On the total vehicles sales, SIAM revised its projections marginally upward to 11%-14% for FY11-12 from 11%-13% announced three months earlier.
Mr Sandilya, however, said India became the second fastest growing passenger vehicles market in the world with 9.90% jump in sales during January-August period. Germany topped the list with 11.20% rate.
India was followed by the US, Brazil and China with 9.30%, 7.50% and 6.05% growth, respectively.
On the commercial vehicles segment, India was the fourth fastest growing market in the world, with an increase of 15.80% in sales in January-August this year. Germany topped the chart with 23.30% growth.
UK and Brazil found berths at second and third positions with 21.10% and 16.60% growth respectively, SIAM said.
“The global economy is going through turbulence, but the Indian economy is going strong. Besides, there is a good rainfall in this year. These are some positive factors,” Mr Sandilya said, adding commodity prices and international crude prices are likely to soften in the coming months.