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Marans, 5 others cleared by court in illegal telephone exchange case

15 March 2018

Belying the hype surrounding the decade-old "illegal telephone exchange" case against former Union telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his elder brother Kalanithi Maran, a special court for CBI cases here discharged the brothers saying the investigating agency had failed to maintain charges against them.

When their discharge petitions came up for hearing before XIV additional special court for CBI cases in the morning, special judge S. Natarajan posted the matter to 2.30 pm for pronouncing verdict on their plea.

The CBI had accused Maran brothers of causing loss of Rs 1.76 crore. Even the NIE article was a better charge sheet than the one CBI filed.

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"Dayanidhi Maran has abused his official position as a Union minister and member of parliament in getting illegal telephone connections to Sun Network owned by his brother Kalanithi Maran".

The other accused who were discharged in the case were former BSNL General Manager K Brahmanathan, former Deputy General Manager MP Velusamy, Dayanidhi Maran's private secretary Gauthaman and two officials of Sun TV.

As for Kalanithi Maran, the judge said the Sun Network boss could not be made vicariously liable for the alleged offences for the only reason that he was chairperson of the company. More than 700 high-end telecom lines, having PRA/BRA/ISDN leased line, were installed under the service category. 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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Counsel for the Maran brothers and others have argued that they are innocent and have not committed any irregularities as alleged by the prosecution.

In October 2017, the Maran brothers had moved a petition seeking dismissal of the case, which was strongly opposed by CBI on February 27, stating that they had material evidence to proceed against them.

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Marans, 5 others cleared by court in illegal telephone exchange case