Madras High Court rejects Maran brothers' plea to quash charges in illegal telephone exchange case

The Madras high court has rejected Maran brothers' pleas to quash charges in the illegal telephone exchange case

Former communication minister Dayanidhi Maran and his elder brother Kalanidhi Maran told the Madras High Court on 14 September that charges framed against them in a case of alleged setting up of illegal telephone exchanges were "lame and shame" and wanted them to be quashed.

On 25 October, the Madras high court had reserved its order on the petitions filed by Maran brothers challenging the framing of charges against them and others by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in the alleged illegal telephone exchange case.

Justice AD Jagadish Chandira reserved the order following conclusion of arguments.

A CBI court had in August framed charges and ordered trial of former Union telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and others in the case of alleged setting up of “illegal” telephone exchanges to benefit the Sun TV Network of his elder brother Kalanithi Maran during 2004-06.

Special Judge R Vasanthi framed the charges over a month after the Madras High Court quashed the CBI court’s earlier order discharging all the accused.

Dayanidhi Maran and Kalanidhi Maran. Pic courtesy: Agencies

Dayanidhi Maran and Kalanidhi Maran. Pic courtesy: Agencies

The Maran brothers have sought quashing of the charges against them.

The charges date back to the time when Dayanidhi Maran, a grandnephew of late DMK chief M Karunanidhi, was the Union minister for telecommunications and information technology in the UPA-1 government.

The CBI has alleged that he misused his official position and got private telephone exchanges installed at his various residences here which were used for business transactions of the Sun Network.

The high court had on 25 July held there were ‘heaps’ of material evidence against the accused and had directed the special court to frame charges and conclude the trial within a year.

The bench had given its order on a CBI plea challenging the discharge of the accused by Special Judge S Natarajan on 14 March this year.

---With PTI inputs


Updated Date: Nov 09, 2018 11:36 AM