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Maxis Communications Berhad (MCB), which has been named in a CBI chargesheet for alleged wrongdoing in sale of Aircel, on Tuesday denied charges of using illegal means to acquire the firm from Siva Ventures and said it will pursue all legal remedies to defend itself and its officials.
MCB — which has 74% stake in Aircel — said it has not been served with the copy of the chargesheet filed by the CBI. The agency had alleged that former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran had received a bribe of R742 crore for coercing entrepreneur C Sivasankaran to sell his Aircel to Malaysia-based Maxis.
"It appears the chargesheet is premised on the CBI's findings following its investigations into a complaint made by C Sivasankaran, the promoter of Siva Ventures (SVL)," MCB said.
Maxis further said: "MCB categorically denies all allegations of any wrongdoing and will vigorously pursue all legal remedies available in order to defend itself... given the apparent lack of regard to overwhelming contradictory evidence and the commencement of prosecution before the investigations are complete."
The firm added that it will also seek international investment treaty protections.
The CBI, in the August 29 chargesheet, charged Maran, his brother Kalanithi, T Ananda Krishnan, promoter of Maxis based in Malaysia, Augustus Ralph Marshall, who headed Maxis's UK based subsidiary Astro All Asia Network (AANL), and firms Sun Direct TV Pvt, Astro All Asia Network, Maxis Communications and South Asia Entertainment, Mauritius.
AAANL, on its part, also denied the allegations and said it is seeking legal advice.
"It was alleged that as quid pro quo AAANL paid illegal gratification to Dayanidhi Maran through his brother Kalanithi Maran, the promoter of Sun Direct and SAFL, in the garb of AAANL's investment in Sun Direct as an over value and investment in SAFL," the firm said.
Stating that the allegations were "unfounded and baseless", AAANL said it will defend any charges that may be levelled against it, its directors and its subsidiaries to the fullest extent possible.