In a setback for the Maran brothers, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal petition filed by the former union minister Dayanidhi Maran on the illegal BSNL telephone exchange case. The court also ordered Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran, who is the head of the Sun TV group, to face trial in the case, as ordered by the Madras High Court.
The Madras High Court had, on Wednesday, set aside the order of the CBI court discharging the Maran brothers from the BSNL telephone exchange case. It also sent the case back to the CBI court and ordered the 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 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 network employees S Kannan and K S Ravi.