New Delhi: Nearly four years after getting
complaints, the CBI will start a formal probe into allegations
that over 300 telephone lines were allotted to the residence
of Dayanidhi Maran in Chennai and illegally linked with a
television channel owned by his brother.
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
The agency had recommended action to Telecom Secretary in
2007 but the department allegedly did not give its nod in the
case, they said.
CBI has now decided to file a preliminary inquiry in the
case against unknown persons, they said.
The sources said these lines were not ordinary telephone
lines but more costly ISDN, capable of carrying huge data thus
facilitating faster transmission of TV news and programmes
across the globe.
CBI in its report to the Telecom Secretary had alleged
these lines are used by medium to large commercial enterprises
to meet special needs such as video conferencing, transmission
of huge volume of digital data for which heavy price is to be
paid but alleged that Sun TV got it for free because of
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.