Illegal telephone exchange: 'CBI ill-treated, forced my aide to give false statement'

Maran, who is facing CBI heat, alleged that the investigating agency was compelling the three arrested persons to complain against him.

Chennai: A day after CBI arrested his close aide and two others in illegal telephone exchange case, former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran today charged the agency with trying "to fix" him to please an RSS leader from Tamil Nadu.

"CBI should be a fact-finding machine and not a fixing one.... I am being singled out. CBI is fixing me to please an RSS ideologue from Tamil Nadu," a combative Maran told reporters here after briefing DMK chief M Karunanidhi on the developments. He, however, did not name anyone.

Maran, who is facing CBI heat, alleged that the investigating agency was compelling the three arrested persons to complain against him and that they were even tortured to give "false statement".

CBI had yesteday arrested V Gowthaman, then Additional Private Secretary of Dayanidhi Maran, and two others in connection with alleged allotment of more than 300 high-speed telephone lines to the the former Telecom Minister's residence in Chennai which were extended to his brother's TV channel.

CBI had named Maran and BSNL officials, including the then Chief General Manager K Bramhanathan and MP Veluswami in the FIR filed in October 2013.

"...After eight years, they are just fixing this case. They have arrested three people. Irony is they have been ill-treated and were forced to give false statement. When they refused, they were arrested. They were compelled to complain against me. Third degree treatment was meted out to them," " Maran alleged.

Asserting that he would fight out the case, Maran hit out at CBI, saying "Is CBI trying to impress the RSS ideologue from Tamil Nadu? The telephone line still functions in my residence....CBI wants to pass the buck, I have no choice but to fight it out."

"CBI has filed FIR against me alleging when I was the telecom minister and there was excess use of telephone connection. I have explained. This investigation has been going on for eight years", he said.

He said for the last 18 months the arrested people have been called by CBI and they cooperated in all the investigation procedures.

The arrested persons included Chief Technical Officer S Kannan and electrician L S Ravi of Sun TV network.

"They were also promised if they give such a statement against me, they will be allowed to go," Maran claimed.

"The case was foisted against me during the UPA regime. The intellectual from Tamil Nadu fixed it, it was done by him," he said.

"There is only one telephone connection.... I will be writing to the CBI on this matter", he said.

CBI has alleged that nearly 323 residential lines were allegedly in the name of the BSNL General Manager connecting the Boat House residence of Maran with the office of Sun TV through a dedicated underground cable during his tenure as Telecom Minister.

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