How Sun TV benefitted from the "virtual telephone exchange"

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Dayanidhi Maran is back in the news once again. This time the CBI will probe his three aides who have been accused of facilitating the setting up of a virtual telephone exchange at his house which is alleged to have benefitted the Sun TV group.

The allegation is that over 300 telephone lines were set up in the house of Maran and these were being used free of cost to help the services of the Sun TV group. Let us take a look at what exactly the allegations are against Maran and his aides in this virtual telephone exchange case.

Read: Allegations against Maran

323 high speed lines

The allegation by the CBI is that there were 323 telephone lines that were set up. The lines which were in the name of the BSNL General Manager were connected directly to the Boat House residence of Dayanidhi Maran.

Further it is alleged that Maran's Boat house residence and the Sun TV office were connected with dedicated underground cables and this was done during his tenure as the telecom minister. The CBI has alleged a gross misuse of power in this case.

It is also the case of the CBI that these dedicated telephone lines connecting Maran's residence and the Sun TV office were aimed at high speed data transfer.

Expensive ISDN lines

The CBI case also states that these lines which were set up allegedly at the behest of Maran were no ordinary lines. They were extremely expensive ISDN lines which could carry out high speed data transfer.

Explaining how these high speed data lines helped, the CBI says that the ISDN lines are capable of carrying out huge data transfer. This in turn helped the Sun TV group transmit data faster. These high speed lines which could carry huge data facilitated faster transmission of Sun TV programmes across the globe. The TV news and other programmes on Sun TV were transmitted at extremely high speed through these lines across the globe.

Read: Allegations against Maran

Sun TV got it "free"

The CBI further states that the Sun TV got these lines absolutely free of cost. Normally such lines are given to commercial enterprises which rely on high speed data transfer like video conferencing. The digital data volume transfer through such lines is not just super fast, but extremely expensive.

However in the case of Sun TV, these 323 lines were alleged to have given free of cost which in turn benefitted the company a lot, the allegations further state.

Secret underground cables

The CBI in its report states that cables were laid underground and none got wind of this. The cables were alleged to have been laid by the BSNL between the Boat House Home of Maran and the Sun TV office at  Anna Arivalayam in Anna Salai,Chennai.

The number of the lines mentioned by the CBI states that 300 lines were numbered between 24371500' to 24371799 while the remaining 23 were numbered between 243722 11 and 24372301.

A Rs 443 crore fraud

The CBI alleges that this was nothing but fraud and says that the Sun TV group could have benefitted almost Rs 443 crore due to this.

What the CBI intends to do is find out the nexus between Maran and the BSNL in installing these lines. The arrest of three aides of Maran and their questioning is important to the probe and they will be able to add to the details of this fraud.

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