The CBI will register a preliminary enquiry (PE) over the allegations that 323 high-capacity telephone lines were illegally installed at the Chennai residence of Dayanidhi Maran during his stint as telecom minister in 2004-2007.
The PE—the precursor to a regular case—will be lodged against “unknown officials of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Chennai,” said an agency source.
The source also said the agency’s preliminary probe has revealed that the 323 telephone lines—which had the capacity to digitally transmit audio and video data simultaneously—installed at Maran’s residence were procured in the name of BSNL’s chief general manager, Chennai.
The CBI had received complaints about the irregularities around four years ago.
“The decision was taken in a meeting attended by officials of the CBI and the Department of Telecommunication (DoT),” said the source. The lines were allegedly used via a covert cable by Sun TV, a television channel owned by the Marans.
According to the source, a covert cable was used to connect Maran’s residence with the Sun TV office.
The agency had sent a written complaint about the irregularities in its report to the then telecom secretary in 2007, but no action was taken in the absence of requisite sanction by the DoT, said the source.
The CBI had reportedly found that the ISDN lines were of the type that are usually procured by commercial enterprises to meet special needs such as video conferencing and transmission of digital data.
“The CBI had informed the telecom secretary that except a few officials, no one in the BSNL had known of the installation of the cables, which were used by the TV office,” said the source.