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CBI Court Discharges Maran Brothers in 'Illegal' Telephone Exchange Case

CBI Court Discharges Maran Brothers in 'Illegal' Telephone Exchange Case

The CBI Court today discharged the Maran brothers and five others in the BSNL illegal telephone exchange case. It held that between June 2004 and December 2006, Dayanidhi Maran, when he was Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology, had misused his power and allegedly installed a private telephone exchange at his residence in Chennai for business transactions involving Sun Network, which was owned by his brother Kalanidhi Maran.

Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran were discharged on the grounds that there was no prima facie material against them.

When the case came up before the XIV Additional Judge for CBI cases S Natarajan, the CBI strongly opposed the discharge applications moved by the Maran brothers.

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

Among others who were let off by the court today were BSNL general manager K Brahmanathan, former deputy general manager MP Velusamy and Dayanidhi's private secretary Gauthaman. It is discharge which means even the charge sheet does not disclose offence. The court cases had considerably reduced the clout of junior Maran in the DMK and with Wednesday's verdict, he is expected to make a comeback.

It said he had caused a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the exchequer.

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

Senior counsel Kabil Sibal appeared for the Maran brothers.