The Madras High Court on Wednesday rejected a plea by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran seeking that the charges a special Central Bureau of Investigation court had filed against them in the illegal telephone exchange case be quashed. Instead, Justice N Anand Venkatesh directed the court to finish the trial in four months, The Times of India reported.
Dayanidhi Maran, who was Union telecom minister between 2004 and 2007, had allegedly installed at least 364 high-end telecommunication facilities at one of his homes. Of those, Sun TV had used 323 facilities between 2004 and 2007 to uplink the channel, the CBI alleged. Kalanithi Maran is the owner of Sun TV.
The CBI court had framed the charges on January 30. Charges were also framed against five others – former Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd General Manager K Brahmanandam, former Deputy General Manager MP Velusamy, Dayanidhi Maran’s private secretary Gauthaman and two Sun TV employees, The News Minute reported.
Dayanidhi Maran told the Madras High Court that the charges were “politically motivated”. He claimed that the CBI had no material evidence to prove that he abused his power while he was a Union minister.
Kalanithi Maran had alleged that the 6,000-page chargesheet does not have a single mention of his name, and that he was being dragged into the case only because he is Dayanidhi Maran’s brother. The brothers were both present in court while making their submissions.
The DMK had on March 17 included Dayanidhi Maran among its candidates for the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies it is contesting in Tamil Nadu.