SC’s 2G bench to hear Sun TV’s assets attachment case

The Supreme Court Friday did hear Sun TV’s plea challenging the Enforcement Directorate’s order attaching its assets worth Rs.742.6 crores for alleged money laundering, saying that it was for its special 2G bench to decide whether it was a part of 2G case or not.

An apex court bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C. Pant asked the special 2G bench to take a call on whether attachment of Sun TV Network properties by the ED by its March 31 order came within the ambit of the 2G cases.

The matter will come up for hearing before the 2G bench on Monday.

The Sun TV Network was contending that the attachment of its properties was not covered by the 2G cases and sought an instant hearing, contending that it feared the execution of the attachment order passed by the ED.

The court referred the matter to 2G bench, after it was told that the hearing on the attachment order scheduled for today has been adjourned till July 21 and the apprehension of any coercive action by ED stands abated.

The ED by its March 31 order had attached assets worth Rs.742.6 crore belonging to former union telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and the latter’s wife Kaveri Kalanithi in the Aircel-Maxis case.

The Sun TV is controlled by the Maran’s family and the attachment of their assets are rooted in alleged money laundering probe in Aircel-Maxis case.

Sun TV had moved the Madras High Court against the attachment order but it refused to interfere with it saying that apex court was seized of the matter and has barred other courts from entertaining any plea rooted in 2G matters.

The Enforcement Directorate had registered a case in 2012 taking cognisance of the case earlier filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The matter relates to sale of Aircel to Maxis owned by T. Ananda Krishnan in 2006 wherein Aircel’s original owner C. Sivasankaran had alleged that he was pressured to sell Aircel as it was denied licences.

The CBI had alleged quid pro quo, saying in return the Malaysian company had invested crores in Sun TV owned by Maran family.

Maran brothers have maintained that Aircel-MaxisAmatter did not fall in the ambit of 2G scam involving the cancellation of 122 licences that were granted in an arbitrary manner.