Karela Fry

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India’s biggest scam continues to throw up new stories. This report in IE can leave you speechless:

The CBI is all set to register a Preliminary Enquiry into allegations that as Telecom Minister between 2004 and 2007, Dayanidhi Maran had instructed BSNL to install over 300 high-speed telephone lines at his Chennai residence.

The telephones were allegedly used by a television channel owned by Maran’s brother through underground cables laid from the minister’s residence to the Sun TV office. These were ISDN lines capable of carrying television programming.

“Our investigations have reached a stage where we are ready to register a preliminary enquiry. It can be registered any time now,” a CBI source said.

September 29, 2011

News like that is usually just the leader for more substantial stuff, like this report from DNA:

The CBI on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it had completed the preliminary inquiry into Dayanidhi Maran’s, former telecom minister, role in the 2G spectrum allocation scam and an FIR would be filed within a few days.

KK Venugopal, the agency’s counsel, submitted a status report in a sealed envelope without making any reference to P Chidambaram, who was the finance minister in 2008.

Maran has been accused of creating a situation where C Sivasankaran, the original owner of telecom company Aircel, was forced to sell off his stake in the company to T Ananda Krishnan’s Maxis group based in Malaysia in 2006. Within months of Krishnan buying Sivasankaran’s stakes in Aircel, Sun Direct TV — owned by Maran’s brother Kalanidhi — received substantial investment from Maxis group (Aircel). Krishnan is believed to be close to the Maran brothers.

Maran was the telecom minister from May 23, 2004 to May 15, 2007, and Raja had replaced him. Apart from Maran, the CBI will file FIRs against Essar officials as well. Venugopal informed the court that it had completed its investigations against telecom companies Essar and Loop in the 2G scam and a decision on the future course of action would be taken within two to three weeks.

Essar, it has been alleged, was not entitled to get 2G licence. But it floated a front company, Loop, by disguising its ownership to get the licence.

Also worth remembering is that according to the now-public tapes of conversations between Nira Radia and Barkha Dutt, the latter played a role in Raja getting into the ministry.

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