Maran brothers discharged in Telephone exchange scam

Maran brothers discharged in Telephone exchange scam

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here on Wednesday discharged former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and other accused in the "illegal" telephone exchange case.

The Maran brothers and other accused were discharged by the CBI court on the grounds that there was "no prima facie material" against them.

The telephone exchange case dates back to the period when Dayanidhi Maran was Union minister for communication and information technology, between 2004 and 2007.

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.

He dubbed the charges against him in the case as "exaggerated lies, sensationalised lies".

They said the probe agency is shocked at the decision as it believed that it had very strong case on the basis of evidence gathered.

It was the second major legal victory for DMK leaders. Two months ago, all accused in the 2G scam including another former Telecom Minister A Raja, who too belonged to the DMK, were acquitted by a CBI court in Delhi.

Meanwhile, the CBI said it will appeal in Madras High Court against the decision. The case was discharged as the CBI, like in the 2G case, failed to provide necessary evidence in the court. They have not produced any evidence to show that the charges against Kalanithi are maintainable. This is said to have cost the government exchequer a loss of Rs 1.78 crore.

The counsel for the Maran brothers and others had argued that they are innocent and did not commit any irregularities as alleged by the prosecution.

Senior counsel Kabil Sibal appeared for the Maran brothers.