In 2011, C. Sivasankaran, former owner of telecom operator Aircel, alleged that the Marans had arm-twisted him into selling his stake in Aircel to Maxis, a firm based in Malaysia, in 2006. According to Sivasankaran, they received Rs547 crore as kickback for their role in the takeover. A top CBI source, who has been privy to the investigation from the beginning, told THE WEEK: The CBI is not taking it up. The case was not even listed for several months. There had been lots of pulls and pressures on the CBI from all sides”The week: High noon
Apart from the Aircel-Maxis deal, the CBI is also investigating the allocation of 323 ISDN lines to Dayanidhi's residence during his tenure as telecom minister. It is alleged that the high-capacity BSNL telecom lines, capable of carrying huge data and thus facilitating faster television transmission, were used by Sun TV Network for free. The connections, which were registered in the name of a BSNL general manager, connected Dayanidhi's Boat Club residence with the Sun TV office. According to the CBI, this virtual exchange was programmed in such a way that no one, except “authorised BSNL staff”, was aware of its existence. Top CBI sources said there was pressure on the agency to prevent it from filing an FIR in the case.