Statesman NEws Service
New Delhi, 1 October
The CBI has filed a case against the then Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and BSNL officials for allegedly allotting 300 high-speed telephone lines to Mr Maran’s residence in Chennai which were extended to his brother’s channel.
CBI sources said an FIR was filed following its preliminary inquiry when it found enough material to proceed with a regular case against Mr Maran and BSNL officials — the then CGM K Bramhanathan and MP Veluswami.
The agency, which had registered the inquiry into allegations in 2011, had wrapped up its probe in July. Mr Maran could not be reached for reaction either over the phone or text messages.
The sources said these 323 residential lines were allegedly in the name of BSNL General Manager connecting the Boat House residence of Mr Maran with the office of Sun TV through a dedicated underground cable during his tenure as Telecom Minister.
The probe had started in 2011, nearly four years after getting complaints that a ‘virtual’ telephone exchange was allegedly set-up at the then Telecom Minister’s for facilitating data transfer from Sun TV.
The agency had recommended action to the then Telecom Secretary in 2007 but the department allegedly did not give its nod in the case, they said.
Finally, the CBI had filed a preliminary inquiry in the case in 2011, they said.
The sources said these lines were not ordinary telephone lines but costly ISDN, capable of carrying huge data thus facilitating faster transmission of TV news and programmes across the globe.
The CBI in its report to the Telecom Secretary had alleged that these lines were for use of large commercial enterprises to meet special needs such as video conferencing or transmission of huge volume of digital data for which heavy fee is charged but Sun TV got it for free.