HC dismisses plea by Marans in tele exchange scam

HC dismisses plea by Marans in tele exchange scam

Refusing relief for Maran brothers, the Madras High Court on Friday dismissed petitions filed by former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanidhi and three others to quash all charges against them in the illegal BSNL telephone exchange case.

Justice A D Jagadish Chandira remanded the matter to the special court for framing of charges in accordance with law.

CBI alleges that Dayanidhi Maran misused his position as Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology (2004-2007) by installing a private telephone exchange consisting of 764 high-speed lines to be used by Sun Network, owned by his brother Kalanidhi.

Since no bills were raised for the telephone lines, it caused a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the exchequer. Marans own the Sun Network, which has interests in television, newspaper and radio. It is one of the largest media companies in the country. The case has been hanging like a Democles sword for the Maran brothers.

Charges framed

A Special CBI court had in March this year discharged the Maran brothers and five others in the case holding that there was no prima facie evidence to prove charges against them. However, the CBI challenged the order before the High Court in June, which set aside the trial court order and ordered a fresh probe. The court, after the High Court order, framed charges against Marans.

The other accused are former BSNL general manager K Brahmanathan, former deputy general manager M P Velusamy, Dayanidhi Maran's private secretary Gauthaman and some Sun TV officials.