Rejecting the view of the CBI Director, Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi on Tuesday told the agency that there was enough evidence with it to file a chargesheet against former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.
According to sources, in his opinion, Rohtagi has said there was enough evidence available with the CBI to prosecute Dayanidhi and Kalanithi in the case.
Rohtagi’s opinion comes after the top two law officers in the previous regime — Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati and Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran — refused to tender their opinion on the issue of whether, in view of evidence on record, the CBI could chargesheet the high-profile accused. Parasaran had refused to give his opinion towards the end of his term on the ground that since the new government was about to take over, it would be inappropriate for him to give an opinion on this politically sensitive matter.
More importantly, he said it would not be appropriate for him to give an opinion on the issue since the opinion of CBI Director Ranjit Sinha, in which he differed with the agency’s Director of Prosecution to say that the opinion against the accused may not stand judicial scrutiny and hence they shouldn’t be chargesheeted, was “unsigned and undated”.
Parasaran also pointed out that the case pertained to a “court-monitored investigation with serious consequences”.
The need for legal opinion arose after CBI’s Director of Prosecution (DoP) said a case was made out against Maran and other accused and the agency should file a chargesheet against them while Director Sinha was of the opposite opinion.
Incidentally, the first time the file was sent to the law ministry for the AG’s opinion, it was sent back as it did not have the Director’s opinion. Later, the Director did the needful, penning a short opinion which was different from that of the DoP.
The case relates to allegations against Maran, contained in a PIL filed by the Centre for public interest litigation, that as telecom minister he thwarted C Sivasankaran-owned Aircel’s repeated pleas for grant of mobile services licences from 2004 to 2006, forcing him to sell his stake at a discounted price to Maxis Group, owned by T Ananda Krishnan.