Illegal Telephone Exchange: Madras HC Sets Aside CBI Court Order, Wants Charges Framed Against Marans

Illegal Telephone Exchange: Madras HC Sets Aside CBI Court Order, Wants Charges Framed Against MaransDayanidhi Maran (L) and Kalanithi Maran. (Getty Images)

Madras High Court (HC) today (25 July) set aside the discharge of former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court, NDTV has reported. They will now be charged in the alleged illegal telephone exchange case.

The court has ordered the CBI to frame charges against the Maran brothers within 12 weeks. The Maran brothers have been accused of allegedly setting up illegal telephone exchange at home when he was a minister during the UPA’s first term. It has reportedly resulted in a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the government. The report states that this was allegedly done to help Sun TV conduct business transactions and transfer data. The CBI has alleged that more than 700 lines were installed in Maran’s properties in Boat Club and Gopalapuram.

The Madras HC has sent back the case to the special CBI court and has directed it to continue the trial against the accused. Therefore, now Maran brothers and the other five accused, will be facing the trail in court.

Dayanidhi Maran is a leader of DMK, which suffered electoral defeats in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, as well as in the 2016 assembly elections, largely due to allegations of corruptions against its top leaders. After being discharged by a lower court, Maran had said that the discharge would erase the taint on the DMK. "I paid a heavy price. I resigned as Minister and lost elections. This is a big boost for the DMK. The party is a victim of witch hunt," he had said earlier.

The HC order may come as a set-back for Maran and DMK after being acquitted in the 2G case and Aircel-Maxis deal case. Several accusations of alleged scams by ministers in the previous UPA government had shocked the nation, with Dayanidhi Maran being among the accused.