NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probing the illegal high speed telephone lines at former Telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran’s residence is likely to question him soon.
Sources in the CBI said the agency had unearthed some crucial evidence in connection with the illegal ISDN lines that were extended from Maran’s residence to his brother Kalanidhi Maran’s Sun TV channel to facilitate data transfer of TV programmes causing huge losses to the government exchequer.
“A decision to interrogate Dayanidhi will be taken after custodial interrogation of the three private persons arrested by the CBI on Wednesday. The three persons — S Kannan, KS Ravi and V Gowthaman — played a very important role to facilitate the misuse of government infrastructure illegally and we are hoping to collect some vital information in the case,” sources said.
The CBI had registered the case on July 23, 2013 against Dayanidhi Maran and two of the then chief general managers, K B Brahmadathan and MP Veluswami. It was alleged that the then Union Minister of Communication and Information Technology (MOCIT) during the period from June 2004 to June 2007 and other officials of BSNL, Chennai, entered into a criminal conspiracy and caused huge financial loss to the government exchequer.
CBI officials said that the then Chief General Manager during the period 2004-06, and the then Chief General Manager during the period 2006-2007, both of Chennai Telephones, along with other unknown public servants of Chennai Telephones, facilitated a number of high end telecommunication facilities — ISDN, BRA, PRA, Broad Band Connections and Leased Line Circuits etc., at the residence of the then Union Minister of Communication and Information Technology (MOCIT) in violation of rules andregulations and in the absence of any express provision of law.
“These telecommunication facilities were treated under service category and no bills were raised for the same during the period from 2004 to 2007. A huge loss was caused to the Government of India. These connections were used by the then Minister for a TV company owned by his elder brother,” a CBI spokesperson said.
Although all three arrested were remanded to 14 days judicial custody, CBI officials said they will move an application for police custody on Friday.
CBI officials also pointed out that the loss for only installation of these lines was around `1.2 crore, but refused to provide more details, adding that few more persons including BSNL officials could be examined to ascertain all the facts.
Officials of the investigation agency also vehemently denied the allegation levelled by the former telecom minister that his aides were tortured to give a false statement against him.
“It is a completely baseless allegation. We have made significant progress in the probe and everything is being done as per the procedure,” they added.