Trial to recommence on Aug 17


Chennai, Aug 11 Trial in the illegal telephone exchange case, in which former Telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and six others are accused, will re-commence on August 17, two weeks after the Madras High court allowed the appeal by the CBI against discharging all the accused in the case.

Additional Judge for CBI cases R Vasanthi today posted the case to August 17 for framing charges.

The special CBI court had on March 14 discharged Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and five other accused, holding there was no prima facie case against them.

The CBI then filed a Criminal Revision Petition (CRP) in the high court, challenging the discharge.

Allowing the CRP, the high court on July 25 set aside the CBI court order discharging Dayanidhi Maran and others in the case of alleged setting up of “illegal” telephone exchanges to benefit the Sun TV Network of his brother Kalanithi.

Allowing the CBI’s appeal against their discharge, Justice G Jaichandran had directed the special court to frame charges and conclude the trial within a year from the date of receipt of the copy of the high court order.

The court had said it was fully satisfied that heaps of material are available to frame charges against all accused.

“None of the reasons given by the trial court to discharge them is sustained in law. The trial court judge had totally forgotten the fact that he should only weigh the probability of the case for framing charges,” the high court had said.

The case relates to the time when Dayanidhi Maran, grandnephew of late DMK chief M Karunanidhi, was the minister for communications and information Technology in the UPA 1 government.

The CBI has alleged he misused his official position and got installed private telephone exchanges at his residences here which were used for business transactions of the Sun Network.

Kalanithi Maran, a billionaire businessman, is the chairman and founder of the Sun Group, which owns several media houses.

According to the CBI, over 700 high-end Telecommunication lines were installed at their residences in Boat Club and Gopalapuram areas of the city, for which bills were not raised, causing the exchequer a loss of Rs 1.78 crore. PTI Corr APR IJT

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