Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran today appeared as accused before a special 2G court in connection with the Aircel-Maxis deal case.
The Maran brothers appeared before Special CBI Judge OP Saini in pursuance to the summons issued against them and moved their separate bail pleas on which the court asked CBI to respond on March 16.
"Put up for reply on bail application on March 16..." the court said.
During the hearing, CBI Prosecutor KK Goel told the court that the summons to the three India-based accused, including the Maran brothers and the firm Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd, have been served.
Mr Goel told the court that summons to a Mauritius-based accused firm has also been reportedly served, but they have not yet received any communication regarding the same.
Besides these four accused, the prosecutor informed the court that summons to the other four accused who are based in Malaysia and UK have not been served yet and they are in the process of expediting the issue with concerned authorities.
During the hearing, besides Maran brothers, the authorised representative for accused firm Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd also appeared in the court.
The court while posting the matter for further hearing on March 16, directed the CBI to supply all the documents on the chargesheet to the three accused who appeared before it.
The court had on October 29 last year summoned Marans, Malaysian business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan and five others, including four firms, for today as accused after taking cognisance of the CBI's charge sheet filed in the case.
Besides the Maran brothers and Krishnan, CBI has named Malaysian national Augustus Ralph Marshall and four firms - Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd, Maxis Communication Berhad, Astro All Asia Network PLC and South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd - as accused in the case.
CBI has listed them in the charge sheet for the offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The agency had earlier told the court that five of the eight accused were residing and based in different countries like Malaysia, Mauritius and the UK while the remaining three were based in Chennai.
On August 29 last year, the CBI had filed the charge sheet in the case containing the names of 151 prosecution witnesses and a set of 655 documents, on which it has relied upon during its probe.
CBI had alleged in the court that Dayanidhi Maran had "pressured" and "forced" Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006.
It argued that the case involves investigation in foreign countries and there were sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused named in the charge sheet.