Relief for Maran brothers, CBI court discharges them in BSNL exchange case


After the 2G spectrum scam case crumbled in the CBI court, the DMK's first family has tasted another victory as a special CBI court, on Wednesday, discharged the Maran brothers and others accused in the illegal telephone exchange case.

In the illegal telephone exchange case, along with Maran brothers, former Minister's then personal secretary V Gowthaman; former chief general managers of BSNL, Chennai circle K Brahmanathan; former deputy general manager of BSNL M Velusamy; Sun TV network's vice-president (technical) S Kannan; and technician K S Ravi, the co accused are also discharged of the charges.

The Special Court for CBI case discharged the former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanidhi Maran (who is the promoter of Sun TV) in the case. The charge against the Marans and others was that during the check period of June 2004 to December 2006, when he was Union minister for communications and information technology, Dayanidhi Maran had been provided 764 telephone lines and high-speed data lines, and that they were misused for Sun TV's commercial purposes.

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The CBI alleged that Maran had caused a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the exchequer. The CBI had maintained that all charges framed against them were supported by material and documentary evidence. On the other hand, the prosecution had said there was prima facie material to proceed against them and wanted the court to dismiss the discharge petitions. More than 700 illegal telephone lines were used for business transactions involving Sun Network. Five others have also been discharged in the case.

Senior counsel Kabil Sibal, who had appeared for the Maran brothers, had contended that the case was foisted on them. The verdict was delivered by special judge Natarajan.

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