M Reyaz BeyondHeadlines
New Delhi: Daynidhi Maran, currently Union Textile Minister, sent a legal notice to Tehlka’s Editor and Publisher Tarun Tejpal for the story in its latest edition “Hello? Who will bell this cat.”
Tehelka has accused Maran, then Telecom Minister of arm twisting Aircel promoter Thiru Sivasanakran in 2006 to strike a deal with Maxis Group by raising unwarranted queries. The report says: “The telecom licences to Aircel were awarded after about two years of ‘unwarranted’ delay on the part of the DoT headed by Maran…Six months after Ananda Krishnan’s (promoter of Maxis Investment) takeover of Aircel, the ministry granted Aircel the much-vaunted licences in 14 cash-rich circles.”
Maran’s lawyer, J Ravindran has sent a legal notice to Tehelka accusing it of a “false and frivolous allegation” and calling the report “a blatant and concocted lie under the pretext of Investigative journalism.”
It explains that “Sivasankaran intended to sell his company, Aircel, even before my client becoming a minister.” It cites earlier newspaper reports in its defence.
It further adds, “Sivasankaran has not leveled any allegation till date.”
It has asked the magazine to “withdraw all allegations” and “issue a retraction and apology with same prominence and pay damages of Rs 15 crores” or threatened to initiate civil and criminal proceedings.
The Tehelka report has also drawn connection between his later investments in the Sun Network, owned by Maran family, and his takeover of the Aircel.