Maran Misses CBI Date on Documents, May Be Grilled Again

Investigators give time till Monday to submit papers linked to illegal phone exchange case

Published: 11th July 2015 02:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th July 2015 07:13 AM   |  A+A-

Dayanidhi-maran-PTI

Former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran | PTI

NEW DELHI:Former Union Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, who was grilled consecutively for three days last week in the ‘illegal telephone exchange scam’ at the CBI headquarters here, failed to submit ‘important documents’ in support of his claims and to prove his innocence before the agency, on Friday.

Before allowing Maran to leave the headquarters last week, the agency had asked him to submit crucial documents related to the alleged 764 telecom connections, including 323 high data capacity and mobiles connections, the following week.

With the former minister failing to provide the documents to the agency till Friday evening, a senior CBI officer said Maran was trying to delay the investigation.

“We will wait till next Monday and in case we do not get the documents, Maran will be summoned again for questioning,” the officer further said.

“He (Maran) was given a week’s time to submit the documents,” said the officer adding that the documents were pertaining to his claims that he was not involved in any irregularities and had just one telephone connection of high data capacity, that too under the service category to  which he was entitled. 

Maran was ‘evasive’ and ‘non-cooperative’ during the interrogation and also tried to divert the sleuths from the probe, the officer said. When he was confronted with the evidences and facts the agency had gathered, during the probe, Maran tried to mislead them, the officer claimed.

The investigators said they had enough evidences as of now to nail Dayanidhi as he had also got ‘illegal high-speed ISDN phone lines’ at his Boat Club Road and Gopalapuram residences.  These telephone lines were used to benefit Sun TV network owned by his brother Kalanithi Maran, the officer claimed.

There were attempts to cover up the scam by pegging the loss at Rs 1.80 crore. 

The CBI claimed that the total loss incurred to the ex-chequer was Rs 440 crore.

It was Express that first blew the lid off the Rs 440 crore telephone exchange scam, exposing the illegal high-speed ISDN phone lines that were routed from Dayanidhi’s residence to Kalanithi’s Sun TV to facilitate fast data transfer of news programmes, causing huge losses to government-owned BSNL. Investigative journalist and columnist S Gurumurthy broke the scam in June 2011, exposing the secret exchange with 323 lines set up at Dayanidhi’s residence in 2006-07 in BSNL chief general manager’s name to benefit Sun TV.

The officer said that Dayanidhi facilitated and provided nearly 764 numbers of high-end telecommunication facilities like ISDN, BRA, PRA, broad band connections and leased line circuits and mobile connection at the residence in violation of rules and regulations.

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