Maran brothers, others discharged in illegal telephone exchange case

Dayanidhi Maran and Kalanidhi Maran

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.

The others, who were discharged in the case, were BSNL's former Chief General Manager K Brahmanathan and former Deputy General Manager M Velusamy, the former minister's Personal Secretary V Gowthaman, and Sun TV network employees S Kannan and KS Ravi.

While allowing the discharge petition filed by them, Special judge Natarajan said he was discharging all the seven accused from the case in the absence of prima facie evidence. It was CBI's charge that a loss of Rs 1.78 crore had been caused to the exchequer.

In February this year, the CBI argued opposing the discharge petitions filed by Dayanidhi, Kalanithi Maran and others, saying there was prima facie material to proceed against them.

Also read | What is the "illegal" telephone exchange case? He then used the facility for business transactions involving the Sun Network, owned by Kalanithi. More than 700 high-end telecom lines, having PRA/BRA/ISDN leased line, were installed under the service category. "The CBI undertstated the loss, limited it to cable laying expenses, leaving 800 lines user charges", he said on Twitter.

Counsel for the Maran brothers and others have argued that they are innocent and have not committed any irregularities as alleged by the prosecution. The DMK suffered a rout in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, and Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK got a second straight term in 2016.

Senior counsel Kabil Sibal, who had appeared for the Maran brothers, had contended that the case was foisted on them. The case was discharged as the CBI, like in the 2G case, failed to provide necessary evidence in the court.

PTI adds: The CBI will appeal the CBI court's verdict in the Madras High Court, officials said here today.



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