CBI seeks files for Maran`s `exchange` from DoT

The CBI has sought details from Dept of Telecom about the alleged illegal allocation of over 300 telephone lines to the residence of Dayanidhi Maran.

New Delhi: The CBI has sought details from
the Department of Telecom about the alleged illegal allocation
of over 300 telephone lines to the residence of Dayanidhi
Maran in Chennai which were linked with a television channel
owned by his brother.

The agency which started the probe in the matter last
week after registering a preliminary enquiry has sought
documents related to sanction given for setting these ISDN
lines which are capable for carrying huge amount of data.

The CBI has asked the Telecommunication Department to
provide them with technical details of the alleged set-up
connecting Sun TV office and former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi
Maran`s residence.

Nearly four years after getting complaints, the CBI has
started a formal probe into allegations that a `virtual`
telephone exchange was set-up at the then Telecom Minister`s
for facilitating data transfer from Sun TV owned by his

These 323 residential lines were in the name of BSNL
General Manager connecting the Boat House residence of Maran
with office of Sun TV through a dedicated underground cable
during the tenure of Maran as Telecom Minister, sources in the
CBI claimed.

The agency recommended action in the case to Telecom
Secretary in 2007 but the department allegedly did not give
its nod, the sources said.

The CBI has alleged that these lines, used by medium to
large commercial enterprises to meet special needs such as
video conferencing and transmission of huge volume of digital
data, for which a heavy price is to be paid, were almost free
for Sun TV through this set-up.

It said that this virtual exchange was programmed in such
a way that except "authorised BSNL staff", no one in the
state-owned telecom company was aware of its existence.

The CBI alleged that a stealth cable was used to connect
the residence of the Minister with Sun TV office to give
impression that these lines were for the Minister but actually
they were used by the channel.


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