Under strident attack over the Aircel-Maxis controversy, Union textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran on Thursday skipped office and remained largely confined to his residence. The only official engagement during the day was the Cabinet meeting, which he attended.
Later, his deputy in the textiles ministry Ms Panabaka Lakshmi, minister of state for human resource development Purandheshwari and a Rajya Sabha MP J.D. Seelam called on him at his residence in connection with some spinning-related work in his ministry.
In the evening Mr Maran left for Chennai ostensibly to wish his grand-uncle and DMK chief Karunanidhi on his 88th birthday, which falls on June 3.
Meanwhile, the CBI has sought specific details related to the spectrum allocation during the tenure of former telecom ministers, including late Pramod Mahajan and Dayanidhi Maran, from the Department of Telecommunications. The agency has also decided to take up the matter related to the installation of 323 telephone lines at the Chennai residence of Mr Maran during his tenure as the telecom minister with the DoT, sources said.
“The agency has already initiated its investigation into the preliminary enquiry (PE) registered to probe criminal aspects, if any, in the allotment of the spectrum licences since 2001. Seeking specific details about the spectrum allocation during the tenure of Mahajan and Maran, is part of agency’s investigation into the PE,” sources said.
There are reports of alleged irregularities in the spectrum pricing during Mahajan’s tenure as well, which is being investigated by the CBI, sources said. The agency is also collecting relevant documents from the Trai in this regard, sources said adding that the CBI is also trying to ascertain as to whether the “first-come-first-serve basis” provision was followed or not.
The CBI is also taking assistance of the ED and the I-T department in this regard. “The CBI was also scrutinising details provided by Shiva Group chairman C. Sivasankaran to the agency. Mr Sivasankaran had already deposed before the CBI over the Aircel-Maxis Sun TV deal once, in the second week of May. The agency may record his statement under Section 161 of the CrPC next week,” sources said. Asian Age