Face the trial, Supreme Court tells Marans

Face the trial, Supreme Court tells Marans
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Highlights

Former Telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran must face trial in what is known as the illegal telephone exchange case, the Supreme Court said on Monday, confirming a High Court order that set aside their discharge in March

New Delhi: Former Telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran must face trial in what is known as the illegal telephone exchange case, the Supreme Court said on Monday, confirming a High Court order that set aside their discharge in March.

"The allegation is you have used phones for your brother's TV. You face the trial," the Supreme Court said, dismissing Dayanidhi Maran's appeal in the decade-old case.

Last week, the Madras High Court ordered the framing of charges within 12 weeks against Dayanidhi Maran and his older brother Kalanithi Maran, who heads the Sun Group. A special CBI court had in March discharged the Marans and others accused in the case.

Dismissing the plea against the High Court order by Maran and three other BSNL officials, Justice Gogoi said in the order: "We are not inclined to interfere with the High Court order. Since recording of our views may affect the trial, we refrain to do so."

As one of the officials accused in the matter sought to address the court, the bench said: "Go with your minister. There are serious charges against you."

The Madras High Court had on June 25 remitted back the illegal telephone exchange case against former Union Minister Maran and his elder brother and Sun TV group head Kalanithi Maran to a special CBI special court and ordered framing of charges against all the accused.

The High Court order had come on an appeal by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) challenging the special CBI court's March 14 order discharging the Maran brothers and others from the illegal telephone exchange case.

The CBI had alleged a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the government due to the alleged installation of an illegal telephone exchange at Dayanidhi Maran's house, which was used for Sun TV operations.

The others discharged by the special CBI court were BSNL's former Chief General Manager K Brahmanathan and former Deputy General Manager M Velusamy, former Minister's Personal Secretary V Gowthaman and Sun TV network employees S Kannan and K S Ravi.

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