Companies & Sectors
Dayanidhi Maran grilled for over seven hours over phone lines misuse
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.
 
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 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.
 
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.
 
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.

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Nifty, Sensex, Bank Nifty in an uptrend: Wednesday Closing Report
Nifty can rise up to 8,600 over the next few days and Bank Nifty to 18,900
 
We had mentioned on Tuesday that the stock market may be preparing the base for a rally. On Wednesday, the Indian markets put in a strong upmove and went above the last week’s highs.
 
 
Indian e-retailer Infibeam filed a draft prospectus for an initial public offerings (IPO) to raise Rs450 crore ($70.69 million), becoming the first of India's e-commerce companies to list its shares on the domestic market. Infibeam's IPO comes at a time of intense competition in India's e-commerce sector, with high cash burn rates at industry leaders Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon.com's India unit. Launched in 2007, Infibeam runs the infibeam.com and BuildaBazaar.com websites. Last year, Sony Music bought a 26% stake in Indent, the company's digital entertainment arm. Infibeam will use the IPO proceeds for expanding business, including setting up a cloud data unit and 75 logistics centres. Capital markets regulator SEBI last month relaxed its regulations for companies to list and raise funds through a dedicated platform on domestic stock exchanges rather than going overseas. E-commerce major Snapdeal said Sebi's move to relax regulations relating to listing on domestic stock exchanges will benefit "India-focused companies" like it in the long run.
 
An anticipated and much-awaited victory at the Supreme Court propelled the stock of Delhi-based city gas distributor Indraprastha Gas (IGL). It shot up more than 16% early in the day, and despite paring gains finished higher by about 9%. The Supreme Court dismissed the special leave petition filed by the downstream regulator Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB). The petition was against the Delhi High Court order of June 2012, which quashed the regulator’s directions to IGL to slash tariffs and charges. PNGRB had, in April 2012, issued a directive to IGL to slash network tariff and compression charge by about 60% — with retrospective effect from April 2008. The IGL stock had taken a hammering then falling more than 40% over two days. Indraprastha Gas shares closed at Rs455.30, up 8.98% on the BSE.
 
Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata has invested an undisclosed amount in his personal capacity in online taxi services company Ola, the Mumbai-based venture announced on Wednesday. The transaction is the latest in a series of investments made by 77 year-old Tata over the course of the last 12 months. He has also backed Snapdeal, India's largest online marketplace, mobile marketplace Paytm, auto portal CarDekho.com, and online furniture and lifestyle retailer Urban Ladder, among others. 
 
Automaker Mahindra & Mahindra reported a 6% decline in total sales at 36,134 vehicles in June. It had sold 38,466 units in the same month last year, M&M said in a statement. In the domestic market, its sales were down 9% to 33,282 units last month as against 36,452 units in the same month of last year. Exports were up 42% at 2,852 vehicles as against 2,014 units in the same period a year ago. Mahindra & Mahindra shares closed at Rs1,290.25, up 0.71%.
 
Core sector growth revived in May, by clocking its fastest pace in six months, led by a turnaround in electricity, oil refining, steel and cement sectors, bringing some cheer for policymakers who have been battling a sluggish industrial sector.
 
Government data showed the core sector, which spans electricity, coal, steel, cement, refinery production, natural gas, crude oil and fertilisers, rose an annual 4.4% compared to a contraction of 0.4% in April. 
 
The table below gives the top gainers and losers of major indices:
 
 
The table below gives the closing values of world indices:
 
 
Among European indices, DAX closed at 11,222.98, up 2.53%. FTSE 100 closed at 6,613.44, up 1.42% and US markets were up about 1% on hopes of a deal on Greece.
 

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Housing.com fires CEO Rahul Yadav
The board of Housing.com fired its co-founder and CEO Rahul Yadav because of his conduct over the past few months, say media reports
 
Rahul Yadav, the 26-year old chief executive (CEO) of Housing.com, who earlier had resigned from the company has been fired by the Board of Directors, say media reports.
 
"The board of Housing.com fired its co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Rahul Yadav because of his conduct over the past few months," a report from Business Standard says.
 
Yadav has been in the news for the past six months because of his often-abrasive communication with investors and media.
 
In May this year, during an interaction on Reddit, the 26-year old CEO had stirred up fresh controversy calling names of various people, while admitting that quitting Housing.com was a well-calculated tactical move.
 
Earlier, Yadav broke news of his resignation on social media. "I don't think you guys are intellectually capable enough to have any sensible discussion anymore," Yadav had written to the Board of Directors at Housing.com in his resignation email. However, later he apologised and withdrew his resignation.
 
"It is a sad moment for us. Housing was his idea, his company. But he has been ousted. I don't know how we will deal with this loss," said an official from Housing.com.
 
Housing.com was set up in 2012 by 12 IIT Bombay graduates, and it emerged as one of the most promising start-ups.

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