National

CBI questions former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran

New Delhi, July 1 : CBI today questioned former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran in connection with a case of allegedly using over 300 high data capacity BSNL telecom lines at his Boat House residence in Chennai.

He appeared for questioning at 11 AM at the agency headquarters here and was being examined by a team of officials of Special Task Force of CBI which is handling the investigation in the case, CBI sources said.

Maran was called on Monday for questioning but he skipped the scheduled meeting, they said.

He approached the Madras High Court seeking interim anticipatory bail which was granted to him yesterday.

Earlier, the Madras High Court had granted bail to three officials of Sun TV, who were arrested by CBI in connection with the case.

They were V Gowthaman, former Additional Private Secretary of Maran, Chief Technical Officer S Kannan and electrician L S Ravi.

CBI has alleged nearly 323 residential lines were allegedly in the name of the BSNL General Manager connecting the Boat House residence of Maran with the office of Sun TV through a dedicated underground cable during his tenure as the Telecom Minister.

The sources said these lines were not ordinary telephone lines but costly ISDN, capable of carrying huge data, thus facilitating faster transmission of TV news and programmes across the globe.

The probe had started in 2011, nearly four years after getting complaints that a 'virtual' telephone exchange was allegedly set-up at the then Telecom Minister's house for facilitating data transfer from Sun TV.

It filed a preliminary inquiry in 2011, they said.

CBI had in its report to the Telecom Secretary alleged these lines were for use of large commercial enterprises to meet special needs such as video conferencing or transmission of huge volume of digital data for which heavy fee is charged but Sun TV got it for free.

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