Sunday, September 25, 2016

Arrest warrants against Malaysian nationals T Ananda Krishnan and Augustus Ralph Marshall,

Satire is the thin wedge that separates fear from panic. Indian businessmen are not yet panic-stricken, but they are edging towards the zone of fear. As haemorrhaging international confidence in India weakens fund inflows,which would have been manageable if the bleed was not moving from drip to gush. There is deep worry that vacuous governance and an unstable political environment will lead us to the door of the IMF in Washington, a large begging bowl in hand. Instead of answers, the UPA government is offering alibis, some of them so lame they seem struck with polio at birth. India has become the worst story in the BRIC club. A sudden flurry of stories appeared—The fulcrum of a tipping point in public life is that mortal enemy of a politician: humour. A joke might not destroy reputation quite as effectively as a corruption scandal, but it deflates credibility. Through his long career Defence Minister A.K. Antony has been wise enough never to get tempted by a wisecrack; wit is not his forte. He might therefore be a little bewildered by the artillery fire of jokes after his disastrous mismanagement of
has escaped justice through one legal feint after another, abetted by authorities. This happened again last week. Why pretend? Send a simple message to the victims of 1984: Abandon hope, all ye who enter the Indian judicial maze.Corruption is another synonym for injustice, for it is robbery of people’s resources. Corruption is not exchange of wealth between the rich; it is the people’s money accumulating in limited pockets. The teachers in Bihar were not paying for meals from their salaries; they were siphoning off money collected from taxes. Those mobile companies who bought spectrum at deflated prices were also stealing from the national purse.

Justice is neither expected nor offered in a dictatorship, which is why it becomes such an intense demand when a dictator falls. But justice is intrinsic to democracy. An ordinary crime is punished through law; political culpability

A New Delhi court has issued arrest warrants for Malaysian tycoon T Ananda Krishnan and his aide Augustus Ralph Marshall and is seeking Interpol assistance on the matter.

According to The Times of India, the court yesterday said the arrests warrants were necessary because Malaysia had not provided assistance over the past two years.

"They (Marshall and Krishnan) could not be served with the summons through the normal course by resorting to mutual legal assistance treaty between the two countries.

"Malaysian authorities have categorically declined to effect the service. In such a situation, the only way left is to approach the Interpol and for that issue of warrant is necessary...

"In such a situation when further issuance of summons would be a futile exercise, it is rightful for the prosecution to ask for warrant of arrest against the accused," the court was reported saying.

In 2014, India's Central Bureau of Investigation filed charges against the duo and South Indian politician and former Indian telecommunications minister Dayanidhi Maran over alleged corruption to help the Maxis group take control of an Indian mobile phone carrier in 2006.

The charges fall under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and under relevant provisions of the Indian Prevention of Corruption Act.

At the court yesterday, the judge also ordered the trial against the Maran brothers and the two accused companies - Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd and South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd - be separated from that of Krishnan and Marshall's along with the two Malaysian companies involved, Astro All Asia Network Plc and Maxis Communications Berhad, to avoid further delays.

Last month Amanah Youth lamented the authorities' failure to follow up with India's call for assistance.

The CBI on Sunday registered a case against former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother and Sun TV managing director Kalanithi Maran, Malaysian billionaire and promoter of Maxis Communications T Ananda Krishnan and senior executive of Maxis Ralph Marshal, besides three companies - Sun Direct TV, Maxis Communications and Astro All Asia.
The CBI case, which triggered raids on Monday at various places in Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad, alleges that Maran received kickbacks from Malaysia-based Maxis immediately after it bought Aircel for $800 million. Aircel promoter C Sivasankaran has told the investigation agency that he was coerced by the Maran brothers to sell the telecom company to Maxis.
"Maran, as the then telecom minister, favoured Maxis group in the takeover of Aircel and in return investments were made by Maxis through Astro Network in Sun Direct TV owned by the Maran family," a CBI officer said.
Besides drawing in a second telecom minister — A Raja is already in Tihar jail as an accused in the 2G case — into the widening investigations into spectrum allocations, the CBI case is also the first one in the scam in which foreigners have been named as accused.
CBI found that "former Aircel chief C Sivasankaran was coerced by Dayanidhi Maran to the extent that he finally sold off his company to Maxis". A source said, "Just before the deal was struck, T Ananda Krishnan had come to India several times and had meetings with Dayanidhi Maran at his office, and once the company was sold by Sivasankaran, Maxis was given licences following which Maxis bought shares worth Rs 547 crore in Sun Direct at premium rates, despite company (Sun) not having such kind of market reputation at that time."
Officials said they would formally question Dayanidhi Maran and other accused persons in the coming days but refused to comment on their arrest.
After registering the case, the agency conducted raids at nine places on Monday including the Delhi and Chennai residences of Dayanidhi Maran, Kalanithi's residence in Chennai, as well as Sun Direct's offices in Delhi and Chennai. Reports also said the residence of Apollo Hospital's Suneetha Reddy, who was questioned in the past by CBI, too was raided. CBI officials said they had gathered documents that would further bolster their case.
CBI has charged the Maran brothers, Ralph Marshall and T Anand Krishnan and three companies under section 120 B of IPC (criminal conspiracy) read with 13(2) with 13 (1)(d) and also section 7 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said.
To book Maran and others, CBI banked on the complaint given by Sivasankaran, which had alleged that "Maran had deliberately delayed his requests for licences and had forced him to sell the company" as well as on documents from Registrar of Companies, RBI and Department of Telecom. The CBI alleged, "By giving 2G licences to Maxis instead of Aircel, the expansion of company in telecom sector was throttled as Maxis was not much interested in telecom business in India."
A senior CBI officer said, "Sun Direct TV was not in a position at that time (in 2007) that any company would look for a lucrative investment in it like Maxis did by investing Rs 547 crore. Also, till the time Sivasankaran owned Aircel, his files were not moved by Maran, but as soon as Maxis bought Aircel, the process of 2G licences gathered pace." CBI said it had direct evidence that files of Sivasankaran were deliberately delayed.
Maxis Communications has 74% share in Aircel while 26% is owned by Sindya Securities and Investments, according to Aircel's web site. Reddy family of Apollo Hospitals is said to be stakeholders and promoters of Sindya Securities and Investments, sources said. Apollo Hospitals in a statement had earlier said, "Apollo Hospitals group and its chairman Dr Prathap C Reddy do not have any investment in Aircel or any other telecom company."
CBI has questioned Marshall, Reddy and Maran brothers but Ananda Krishnan needs to be questioned, CBI sources said. CBI will now ask Maxis to send details about the deal from Malaysia and LRs would also be sent there.

A special 2G court on Saturday issued open warrants of arrest against Malaysian nationals T Ananda Krishnan and Augustus Ralph Marshall, who are accused in Aircel-Maxis deal case along with former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi.
Special Judge OP Saini also ordered that the trial against Maran brothers and two accused companies be segregated from that of those based in Malaysia — Krishnan, Marshall, and two firms, Astro All Asia Network PLC and Maxis Communication Berhad — saying their appearance may take long time leading to a delay in proceedings.
"It is ordered that the trial of the appearing accused, that is, Dayanidhi Maran, Kalanithi Maran, M/s Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd and M/s South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd be segregated from the trial of accused Ralph Marshall, T Ananda Krishnan, M/s Astro All Asia Network Plc and M/s Maxis Communications Berhad...
"Miscellaneous file be opened relating these four accused, who are yet to be served. It is further ordered that an open and perpetual warrant of arrest be issued against Marshall and Krishnan," the court said.
The court's order came on CBI's plea which had on August one sought issuance of arrest warrants against both the foreign nationals, stating that the summons issued to them could not be served.
The CBI had filed the charge sheet against the eight accused for offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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