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Illegal telephone exchange case: Madras HC sets aside order discharging Maran brothers

A CBI court had in March last year discharged the Maran brothers from the decade-long illegal telephone exchange case.

By: Express News Service | Chennai |
July 26, 2018 1:27:30 am
Illegal telephone exchange scam: Madras HC sets aside order discharging Maran brothers Former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran.

In a major setback to former Union telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his elder brother Kalanithi Maran, the Madras High Court on Wednesday rejected the objection raised by them against a CBI appeal challenging a special court’s order that discharged them from the illegal telephone exchange case.

A CBI court had in March last year discharged the Maran brothers from the decade-long illegal telephone exchange case.

Observing that the lower court order was “erroneous, illegal as well as perverse”, Justice G Jayachandran said there was sufficient material to prosecute all the seven accused in the case. The judge also directed the lower court to proceed with framing of charges against the Maran brothers and complete the trial within 12 months.

The CBI case against Dayanidhi Maran pertains to the then Union minister for communication and information technology allegedly misusing his office and installing a private telephone exchange in his two residences in Chennai. It was alleged that he utilised the facility for business transactions involving Sun Network. The alleged misuse of power and abuse of government facility happened between June 2004 and December 2006.

The Marans were charged with causing a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the exchequer by using 700 telecom lines allegedly installed at Maran’s two residences in Chennai city at the Boat Club and Gopalapuram. According to the CBI, the billing addresses of these connections were offices of chief general managers, BSNL, Chennai Telephones, and the agency also accused Maran of obtaining 19 prepaid mobile SIM cards for Sun TV staff without payment of due charges to BSNL. After the FIR was lodged in 2013, there were no efforts by the CBI to arrest Maran brothers until mid-2015.

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