SC notice to CBI on PIL for inquiry against Maran

SC notice to CBI on PIL for inquiry against Maran New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the CBI and BSNL on a plea for inquiry against DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran for allegedly misusing public office by setting up a exchange in his Chennai house and routing 323 lines to his family-owned Sun TV Network offices during his tenure as telecom minister.

A bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam sought responses of the CBI and BSNL on plea against Maran by a journalist, who alleged that the agency has "buried" the case under political pressure despite its inquiry revealing a loss of Rs 440 crore to the exchequer in the case.

"The fraudulent arrangement was executed to facilitate and satisfy the data transfer requirements of Sun TV Network and has caused, on the estimates provided by the CBI in its preliminary inquiry a whopping loss of Rs 440 crores to BSNL and national exchequer," petitioner Swaminathan Gurumurthy said.

The petition, filed through advocate Bina Gupta, said despite adverse findings in preliminary inquiry, neither the CBI nor the Centre has taken any step to pursue the matter.

The petitioner also said that he had sent letter to the CBI director along with evidence in his possession but no further step was taken in the case.

He also alleged the agency had recommended action in the case to telecom secretary in 2007 but the department had not given its nod.

"Though as a Minister he was entitled to only a couple of telephone lines for his official use and that too in Delhi where his official residence was, in the month of January 2007 these 323 lines were smuggled from his residence to the premises of Sun TV Network through separate and exclusive cables laid down by BSNL, at its own cost," the petition alleged.

PTI