Centre scuttling probe into BSNL phone line scam, says plea in SC

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the CBI on a writ petition filed by chartered accountant S. Gurumurthy, seeking a court-monitored probe into the ‘BSNL telephone line scam’ involving the then Telecom Minister, Dayanidhi Maran.

The petitioner alleged, before a Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai, that Mr. Dayanidhi Maran had set up a telephone exchange with 323 high-speed lines in his Chennai home at No. 3/1 Boat Club Road, R.A. Puram, but in the name of the Chief General Manager of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd in Chennai to show as if the lines were being used by the official. Further, he got the 323 lines stealthily and fraudulently linked to the office of Sun TV Network (a company promoted by his brother Kalanithi Maran) for use for commercial purposes there, Mr. Gurumurthy alleged. These lines were secretly kept out of the telephonic system and BSNL records. The arrangement was to facilitate and satisfy data transfer requirements of Sun TV Network and it caused, on the estimates provided by the CBI in its preliminary inquiry, a loss of Rs. 440 crore to BSNL and the national exchequer. However, despite the expose, neither the CBI nor the Centre took any step to pursue the matter.

The petitioner said that after waiting for over 10 months, he on February 15, 2012 wrote to the CBI Director, enclosing his articles and also other evidence in his possession, wondering why the “open and shut” case was being delayed. “It is evident that despite the passage of more than five years since the time the CBI first wrote to Mr. D.S Mathur, the then Secretary [DOT], on September 10, 2007, enclosing a self-contained note, explaining the modus operandi of the scam, [and] even after the public expose and further after the petitioner wrote to the CBI, the investigation stands where it was in September 2007, stymied and scuttled.”

The petitioner said: “The actions of the government in scuttling/attempting to scuttle the investigation are arbitrary, mala fide and illegal. The rule of law requires a thorough investigation into this huge scam that has cost the exchequer Rs. 440 crore, directed and monitored by this court.”

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2022 9:53:15 am |