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CBI re-examining case on Dayanidhi Maran’s illegal telephone exchange

Posted by on July 28, 2011 0 Comment

Officials of the Department of Telecom met CBI officers a fortnight ago to verify allegations thatDayanidhi Maran, in his capacity as telecom minister during UPA-I, had forced BSNL to install an illegal telephone exchange, with 323 lines, at his residential premises in Chennai.

CBI had probed the issue four years ago and its findings surfaced a couple of months ago, forcing Maran, and BSNL to issue a denial. It is being re-examined by CBI now, in close coordination with DoT, which has agreed to allow the investigating agency to access documents related to the case.

CBI’s Chennai branch had in September 2007, drafted a note on the alleged misuse of telephone connections by Maran. The lines, according to CBI, were originally meant for his residential address at 3/1, Bota Club Avenue, RA Puram in Chennai, but were used by theSun TV Network at Teynampet,Anna Salai, “thereby causing huge losses to the central government.”

The telephone numbers had been issued in the name of the BSNL CGM, Chennai, and 23 of them were ISDN connections equipped with basic rate access (BRA) facilities, “which would facilitate communication from one socket to three channels.” A 24 {+t}{+h} line, with 300 connections, was provided with primary rate access facility too. This line also contained ISD facilities.

“All the above-mentioned telephone lines were provided consecutively with one separate level – 2437 -which, in effect, amounted to creating a separate exchange for the telephone lines provided at the residence of Dayanidhi Maran. It was programmed in such a way that no one other than authorized BSNL staff were aware of the existence of such an exchange created for his exclusive use,” the CBI note prepared in 2007 had said.

Telecom MinisterKapil Sibal, when confronted with questions on the revelations, had said he was not in position to answer whether Maran had indeed installed anillegal telephone exchange with 323 telephone lines or not.

To specific questions on CBI’s findings on the illegal exchange at Maran’s home and BSNL’s denial, Sibal said, “CBI is investigating the matter. We are waiting for the details of the investigationa¬¶how can I comment when investigation is going on.” On being asked whether he inquired with BSNL on this issue, Sibal said: “The matter is under CBI investigation so how can I make an opinion.” Economic Times

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