July 25, 2018
Chennai : The Madras High Court on Wednesday set aside the trial court order that discharged the Maran brothers in what has come to be known as the illegal telephone exchange case.
Allowing a CBI appeal against the trial court order, the Madras High Court ordered framing of charges against the former union telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran.
The CBI had maintained in its plea before Mr Justice G Jaichandran that Dayanidhi Maran had misused his office during his tenure as the telecom minister during 2004 to 2006 and caused a loss of Rs 1.78 crore loss to the national exchequer.
The order comes as a major setback to the powerful Maran brothers as the High Court has also stipulated that the trial in the case must be completed within one year of receipt of the judgment order copy by the accused.
The Maran brothers, who were cleared of the charges by a special CBI court in the month of March when the court observed that there was no prima facie evidence that proved the charges against the powerful DMK leader and his brother.
The CBI soon challenged the order in the Madras High Court. The CBI maintained that the former union telecom minister had got a private telephone exchange installed at his residence in Chennai. This exchange was used by his brother for the television channel network, Sun TV, that he operated. Among those charged in the case include, former BSNL general manager K Brahmnathan, former deputy general manager M P Velusamy and Dayanidhi’s private secretary Gauthaman.