The Supreme Court on Friday asked Malaysian telecom giant Maxis group’s owner T Ananda Krishnan and executive Ralph Marshall to appear before the court on January 27, failing which the 2G spectrum licences granted to Aircel will be seized and transferred to another provider. The bench, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, said that Krishnan will have to explain his non-appearance in the court despite summons, reported The Indian Express.
The court also proposed to restrain earning of any revenue using the 2G spectrum licences. The order will be published in two leading dailies in Malaysia, reported PTI. “We can’t allow anyone to use the assets of this country and run away from the process of law…if he [Krishnan] wants to use the spectrum, he must come here and face the law,” said the court.
The bench also asked the Telecom Ministry to come up with plans to ensure that Aircel subscribers are not affected and that they get services from some other provider if required.
The Aircel-Maxis deal is part of the bigger 2G scam, and investigations into it started in 2015. Officials are looking into how telecom firm Aircel was sold to Maxis. The Enforcement Directorate had said that approval for the deal was given when P Chidambaram was the finance minister in 2006.
In July last year, the ED had asked P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, who is accused of facilitating bribes in the Aircel-Maxis transaction, to appear for questioning and submit documents in connection with the Aircel-Maxis deal.
Investigations revealed that a firm owned by Karti Chidambaram also allegedly received payments from Maxis after the deal was executed. The ED had also chargesheeted former Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader and Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and sister-in-law Kavery Kalanithi as accused in the case.