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CBI questioning Dayanidhi Maran over phone-lines misuse

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Picture Credits: theindianawaaz.com
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New Delhi: The CBI on Wednesday grilled former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran for over seven hours in a case against him for installing over 700 phone lines, including 300 high data capacity BSNL lines, at his Chennai residence, asking him more than 200 questions, agency officials said. He will be questioned again on Thursday.

Maran, who was communications minister in the first UPA government (2004-07), reached the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters at about 10 a.m. and was questioned by the Special Task Force (STF) between 11 a.m. and 6.30 p.m., an official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told IANS.

However, an official privy to the investigation, when asked how much money from the state exchequer was lost because of the scam, pegged the figure at Rs.1.80 crore – much lower than the earlier Rs.440 crore.

Picture Credits: theindianawaaz.com
Picture Credits: theindianawaaz.com

Another CBI official told IANS that the total number of phones at his Boat Club residence in Chennai were actually 770, including of private operators, not over 300 as mentioned in the FIR.

The CBI had registered an FIR in the case on July 23, 2013. Till date, however, only three people have been arrested in the matter, while the DMK leader’s name is not mentioned in the FIR as an accused.

The STF team in its seven-and-a-half-hour interrogation of Maran asked him if the high data capacity BSNL telecom lines were used to benefit the Sun TV group, owned by his elder brother, Kalanithi Maran.

“We have asked Maran to explain the misuse of 770 lines, including the 323 high-data capacity BSNL telecom lines being used at his Boat House residence in Chennai, and the mobile phone lines being used by him in Chennai and Delhi,” said a CBI official, who did not want to be named.

The former minister had been called for questioning on Monday, but but did not turn up. On Tuesday, he approached the Madras High Court for anticipatory bail which was granted.

n3 madras hc
Madras High Court

Maran was also asked whether these high capacity lines, in which a stealth cable was used, were used illicitly by Sun TV channel to transfer huge amounts of data without paying for the service.

The agency’s investigation also centres on the fact that the system was devised in such a way that except for the “authorised BSNL staff”, no one in the state-owned telecom company was aware of it.

The interrogators also asked Maran if he had used his network when he was a minister to install the high-speed ISDN phone lines, and why he facilitated these illegal lines despite knowing that it would cause a huge loss to the BSNL.

Maran, who faced several rounds of questioning, was was also asked to explain the answers given by his aides – former additional private secretary V. Gowthaman, Sun TV’s chief technical officer S. Kannan and electrician L.S. Ravi who were earlier arrested by the agency in the case. The Madras High Court has granted bail to them.

CBI officials, part of the STF, also said Maran was asked if he had pressured BSNL officials to install these lines.

An STF member told IANS that Maran will be questioned again on Thursday, and has to reach the CBI office at 10.30 a.m.

Maran was questioned in January this year and October 2014, while Kalanithi was also questioned by the STF in September 2014.

The CBI had started its investigation in 2011 – nearly four years after the matter surfaced. In 2007, the agency had recommended action to the then telecom secretary but nothing happened.

(IANS)

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Former US President Says, A Peaceful World Requires More Women Politicians Than Men

Former President encourages the existence of more women politicians for a peaceful world

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Jimmy Carter with his wife at a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Former President Jimmy Carter, right, and his wife Rosalynn arrive for a ribbon cutting ceremony for a solar panel project on farmland he owns in their hometown of Plains, Georgia. VOA

Discrimination against women and girls is a more pressing global challenge than disparities in income between the rich and the poor, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter said on Tuesday.

The 93-year-old, who established the Carter Center in 1982 to prevent and resolve conflicts and push for human rights, also backed women to bring about a more politically stable world.

The Former President Of US, Jimmy Carter.
Jimmy Carter.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that a woman is more inclined to peace than a man is, so I think we can move towards peace if women get more and more positions in parliament and more and more positions as president,” he said.

Carter was speaking at the annual Skoll World Forum, a gathering of 1,200 social entrepreneurs. He previously cited disparity in income as the world’s greatest challenge when receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

Also Read: Melania Trump Presents International ‘Women Of Courage’ Awards

Carter also pointed to unequal numbers of women and men in parts of India and China, suggesting that prejudice against females meant they had been killed by their families.

Experts have said previously that a strong preference for sons is the root cause behind the uneven ratios, with some parents taking illegal gender tests to abort female fetuses.

The Skoll Foundation was bestowing on Carter its Global Treasure Award. Sally Osberg, president of the foundation, said there were no formal criteria for the award.

“We just know that there is someone in our midst whose integrity is inspiring and whose record of achievement in addressing the world’s pressing problems is nothing less than stunning,” said Osberg.

Female politicians are no less than men, they are even better.
        Female politicians have always been making headlines all            over town.

Previous winners have included fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, the Dalai Lama and Irish rock star Bono.

Carter served as president between 1977 and 1981. He was succeeded by Ronald Reagan.

Carter was followed on to the stage at Skoll by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of the United Nations’ agency on women, who reminded the audience that it was Equal Pay Day in the United States.

The awareness-raising day has been observed for two decades to mark how many more days women must work in a subsequent year simply to catch up with what men earned in the previous year.

Mlambo-Ngcuka said the average global gender pay gap was 23 percent, adding that this could be worse for women of color, indigenous women, those who are disabled, or for reasons of sexual orientation.  VOA