MUMBAI, Aug 30 — Polis Persekutuan India telah memfailkan tuduhan rasuah (corruption) dan konspirasi jenayah (criminal conspiration) ke atas tokoh perniagaan Malaysia yang terkenal sebagai mogul Media dan Telekomunikasi, T. Ananda Krishan.
Ananda yang menguasai Astro dan Maxis di Malaysia bakal dibicarakan bersama bekas Menteri Telekomunikasi India (2004-2007) Dayanidhi Maran dituduh berkompolot dan memberi suapan bagi membantu syarikat telekomunikasi Maxis mengambil alih ke atas penyedia rangkaian telefon bimbit India, lapan tahun lalu.
Turut didakwa ialah jutawan India yang juga merupakan adik kepada Dayanidhi, Kalanithi Maran dan pembantu kepada Ananda Krishna, Augustus Ralph Marshall. Nama kesemua mereka dan ramai lagi berada dalam kertas pertuduhan yang difailkan di Mahkamah New Delhi hari ini.
The case is separate from a massive scandal that a state auditor said had lost the government about US$29 billion (RM91.4 billion) during a 2008 telecoms permits sale process. Another former telecoms minister and several company executives are among the accused in an ongoing trial over that case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s top crime-fighting agency, started investigating the Maran brothers and Krishnan in 2011 after allegations that the telecoms minister had forced the sale of mobile carrier Aircel, allowing Krishnan’s Maxis to acquire a controlling stake in 2006.
“The investigation revealed that the then (telecoms minister) had allegedly abused (his) official position and constricted the business environment of Chennai-based private firm on frivolous grounds with an intent to force its exit from telecom business and its sale to Malaysia-based company,” the CBI said in a statement yesterday.
Companies controlled by billionaire Kalanithi Maran’s Sun Group, which runs a media business including television channels and satellite TV services, had received “illegal gratification” totalling about 7.42 billion rupees, the CBI said. About 5.49 billion rupees of it was “in the garb of” the premium paid for the purchase of a stake in a Sun Group company, the agency said.
The charges against the Marans, Krishnan and his aide include criminal conspiracy, the CBI said. Astro All Asia Networks Plc, Maxis Communications Bhd, South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd — all part of Ananda Krishnan’s business empire — and Sun Group’s Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd have also been named in the police charge sheet.
A spokeswoman for Maxis said she could not immediately comment. A Sun Group spokesman also declined comment. Dayanidhi Maran and Kalanithi Maran could not be immediately reached for a comment.
Dayanidhi Maran has previously denied any wrongdoing. Maxis had said in October 2011 that it was co-operating with the probe and was confident that the allegations against it would prove to be “unfounded and without basis.” — Reuters