Maran still insists on innocence
Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran on Friday rubbished the charges made by the CBI that hundreds of telephone lines were installed at his Chennai residence.
There are allegations against Maran that he has misused his official position by setting up an illegal telephone exchange with 770 lines at his residence illegally for the benefit of Sun TV.
However, Maran while flashing the suggestive documents, which he procured through Right to Information Act, told media persons that there <g data-gr-id="39">was</g> only one phone line and not hundred as claimed by the probe agency.
On Friday, Maran was questioned by the CBI for the third time where he handed over the RTI documents substantiating his claim to the sleuths. CBI spokesperson said, “He was asked to submit some documents, which are relevant to our case. He was questioned for the last three days and
tomorrow he was not asked to come to the CBI headquarters. In future if required then he will be asked to join the probe.”
“I told the CBI today that Right to Information applications have helped me in collecting evidence which clearly shows there was only one connection and not many as claimed earlier,” he told the media persons.
On January 21, 2015, CBI had arrested Maran’s former Additional Private Secretary Gowthaman besides Chief Technical Officer S Kannan and electrician LS Ravi of Sun TV network. All of them were found to be involved in <g data-gr-id="44">alleged</g> allotment of more than 300 high-speed telephone lines to the Maran’s residence in Chennai which were extended to his brother Kalanithi Maran’s TV channel.
The probe agency claimed that when Maran was Telecom Minister between 2004 and 2007, he used more than 300 government-owned phone lines for Sun TV.
The CBI has named the former minister and officials of the state-owned telephone company BSNL in an FIR filed in 2013. In 2011, <g data-gr-id="38">investigation</g> was started after four years of complaints that a virtual telephone exchange had been set up at Maran’s house. “The phone lines allegedly were capable
of carrying huge data to facilitate faster transmission of TV news and programmes across the world,” CBI sources said.
Maran’s name also came in connection with the controversial Aircel-Maxis deal. CBI claimed that Maran had “pressurised” and “forced” a Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006.