A special CBI court in Chennai on Wednesday discharged former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran in the “illegal” telephone exchange case.
The Maran brothers and the others, the former Minister’s then personal secretary V Gowthaman; former Chief General Managers of BSNL K Brahmanathan; former Deputy General Manager of BSNL M Velusamy; Sun TV network’s vice-president (technical) S Kannan; and technician K S Ravi, appeared before the court.
Dayanidhi Maran was accused of having installed a private telephone exchange with 764 telephone lines at his residence to facilitate illegal uplink of Sun TV data, causing a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to state-run telecom majors BSNL and MTNL.
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. Counsel for the Marans said they were innocent and had not caused any loss.
The CBI had alleged that a number of high-end telecommunication facilities were installed at the residence of Mr. Dayanidhi Maran in Chennai (when he was the Telecom Minister), illegally under the service category.
More than 700 telecom lines were installed at their residences in Boat Club and Gopalapuram here, the agency charged.
Among the accused are former BSNL general manager K Brahmanathan, former deputy general manager M P Velusamy, Dayanidhi Maran’s private secretary Gauthaman, and Sun TV officials.