In what comes as a setback for Sun TV chief Kalanithi Maran, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected his appeal challenging a Madras High Court order that had ordered trial in the illegal telephone exchange case.
According to a report in The Hindu, Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Navin Sinha and KM Joseph rejected the plea. He will now have to face trial in the case.
On July 30, the Supreme Court dismissed a similar petition filed by Kalanithiās brother and former Union Minister, Dayanidhi Maran.
Earlier on July 25, the Madras High Court had set aside the order of the CBI court discharging the Maran brothers in the BSNL telephone exchange case. It also sent the case back to the CBI court and ordered charges to be framed within 12 weeks from the date of the order. The High court also directed the CBI court to conclude the trial within 12 months.
In March, a special CBI court had discharged the Maran brothers and five others saying that there was no prima facie evidence against them in the case. This was challenged by the CBI court in the Madras HC in June, which then issued notices to the accused.
The CBI claimed that the government exchequer had suffered a loss of Rs 1.78 crore due to the installation of an alleged illegal telephone exchange at Dayanidhi Maran's house, which was used for Sun TV operations. The CBI also accused Dayanidhi Maran of misusing his office to facilitate the installation of 764 telephone lines at his house to help illegal uplinking of Sun TV data.
The others accused in this case are BSNL's former Chief General Manager K Brahmanathan, former Deputy General Manager M Velusamy, Dayanidhi Maran's personal secretary V Gowthaman, and Sun TV employees S Kannan and K S Ravi.