A second Indian communications minister is charged in telecom scam

Dayanidhi Maran is alleged to have helped a foreign acquirer to buy operator Aircel

India's top investigative agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, said Monday that it has registered a case against former federal minister Dayanidhi Maran, in connection with ongoing investigations into alleged scams in the Ministry of Communications.

The CBI said it conducted raids Monday in nine places in Delhi and Chennai. The case has been filed against Maran and some business executives under the country's Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI had been investigating Maran for some time on charges that he coerced the promoter of mobile operator Aircel to sell his stake to Maxis Communications in Malaysia by delaying clearances of spectrum to Aircel.

Maran, India's telecom minister between 2004 and 2007, is the second former minister of communications to be investigated. His successor, A. Raja, has been under arrest since February after the CBI charged him with involvement in an alleged out-of-turn allotment of 2G licenses and spectrum in 2008. Maran and Raja both belong to the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam, a coalition partner of the ruling Congress party in the federal government.

At the instruction of the country's Supreme Court, the CBI broadened its investigation to include not only the 2008 allocations, but also the allotment of licenses and policy changes by the telecom ministry from 2001.

The Monday raids by the CBI came a few hours before the current communications minister, Kapil Sibal, was due to announce a new draft telecom policy for the country that is expected to plug loopholes in earlier rules.

The irregular allocations of 2G licenses and spectrum to some Indian operators in 2008, without an auction, may have cost the country about US$39 billion, according to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). The report alleged that a "first come, first served" rule was manipulated to favor some companies.

The case filed Monday by the CBI against Maran may reveal that there were irregularities in the telecom ministry even before the 2008 scam.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags legaltelecommunicationtelephonyCarriersCriminalA. RajaDayanidhi MaranIndian Ministry of Communications

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?