Maran brothers, others discharged in illegal telephone exchange case

Dayanidhi Maran and Kalanidhi Maran

Dayanidhi Maran and Kalanidhi Maran

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here on Wednesday discharged former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and other accused in the "illegal" telephone exchange case.

On the other hand, the prosecution has said there is prima facie material to proceed against them and wants the court to dismiss the discharge petitions.

When the case came up before the XIV Additional Judge for CBI cases S Natarajan, the CBI strongly opposed the discharge applications moved by the Maran brothers.

The CBI case also stated that these lines which were set up allegedly at the behest of Maran were no ordinary lines. A few months ago, Kanimozhi ~ party's Rajya Sabha member and daughter of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi ~ and former Telecom Minister A Raja were acquitted by a court in the 2G spectrum case.

The telephone exchange case dates back to the period when Dayanidhi Maran was Union minister for communication and information technology, between 2004 and 2007. Besides 10 post-paid mobile connections with vanity numbers were given to Sun TV founded by his elder brother Kalanithi Maran as per the oral orders of the then Minister. Five others have also been discharged in the case. More than 700 high-end telecom lines, having PRA/BRA/ISDN leased line, were installed under the service category. The CBI had maintained that all charges framed against them were supported by material and documentary evidence.


It said he had caused a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the exchequer.

This is the second corruption case by CBI where DMK leaders have got legal relief.

During the hearing of the discharge petitions, the Maran brothers and others argued that they were innocent and did not commit any irregularities as alleged by the prosecution.

It may be recalled that Kalanidhi's Sun Pictures is producing Rajinikanth's next blockbuster directed by Karthik Subburaj.

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