Maran bros discharged from phone exchange case

Erika Holt
March 15, 2018

Former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran.

Former Union telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran, the owner of Sun Network, have been discharged from the BSNL illegal exchange case.

The others, who were discharged in the case, were BSNL's former Chief General Manager K Brahmanathan and former Deputy General Manager M Velusamy, the former minister's Personal Secretary V Gowthaman, and Sun TV network employees S Kannan and KS Ravi.

The CBI had on 9 December 2016, filed a chargesheet against Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi among others, for allegedly using 764 high-speed data lines at the former's residence which were used by Sun TV channel.

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Alleging a loss of Rs. 1.78 crore to the exchequer, the CBI had invoked provisions under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act. The case was discharged as the CBI, like in the 2G case, failed to provide necessary evidence in the court.

"The case is not even tried".

Maintaining that all charges framed against them were supported with material and documentary evidence, the CBI wanted the special court to dismiss the discharge applications moved by the duo and also filed an additional affidavit.

The telephone exchange case dates back to the period when Dayanidhi Maran was Union minister for communication and information technology, between 2004 and 2007. The Marans, however, contended that they had not caused any loss and were innocent. "There is incriminating evidence to prove their involvement in the crime", TOI quotes the counsel as saying on February 27. The court cases had considerably reduced the clout of junior Maran in the DMK and with Wednesday's verdict, he is expected to make a comeback. However, the brothers, with these legal reliefs, are expected to play a significant role in the DMK in the near future.

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