Madras HC sets aside court order discharging Maran brothers in BSNL case

Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran. Photo: Reuters
The Madras High Court on Wednesday set aside a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court's order, which discharged media tycoon Kalanaithi Maran and his brother and former Union minister Dayanidhi Marana in the BSNL illegal telephone exchange case.

The court rejected the preliminary objection raised by them against the appeal moved by the CBI challenging a special court’s order discharging them from the case.

Justice G Jayachandran remitted back the case to the special court for CBI cases and directed the court to continue the trial and complete framing of charges within 12 months. 

"....the Criminal Revision Petition Nos:671, 682 to 684 of 2018 are allowed, the trial Court is directed to frame charge and complete the trial within a period of 12 months. Registry is directed to send back the records to the trial Court forthwith," said in the Order.

In June, the CBI had moved the Madras High Court challenging the discharge of the Maran brothers and others in the illegal telephone exchange case. The CBI Court said it is discharging all seven accused from the case since there was no prima facie evidence to prove the charges against.

The CBI had alleged a loss of Rs 17.8 million (Rs 1.78 crore) to the government due to the installation of an illegal telephone exchange at Dayanidhi Maran's house, which was used for Sun TV operations, when Dayanidhi Maran was the Union Minister for Communication and information technology.

The others who were discharged 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 K S Ravi. 

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