The Madras High Court has rejected former communication minister Dayanidhi Maran and brother, Kalanidhi petition to cancel charges against them for allegedly setting up of illegal telephone exchanges. The Maran brothers had contended that the accusation was “lame” and wanted it to be quashed. Charges have been framed by a CBI court based on the investigating officer’s opinion and not on materials available on record.
The CBI court in Chennai on August 30 framed charges and ordered trial of Dayanidhi Maran and six others in the case of “illegal” telephone exchanges, allegedly set up to benefit the Sun TV Network of his brother Kalanithi Maran during 2004-06.
Maran had argued that the restriction to have only three connections would apply only to MPs as per the Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament Act and not to a Cabinet minister.
“There is no statutory bar for a minister to have more than three telephone service connections,” he argued.
The former minister did not have 764 telephone connections as alleged by the CBI, and even if he had, there was no statutory bar against it, he had petitioned.
All the accused who are facing trial, except officials of the BSNL, had moved the Madras High Court, seeking to quash the charges framed by CBI in the illegal telephone exchange case.