Don’t Precipitate Trail In Telephone Exchange Case: Court To CBI

Chennai: 

The Madras High Court on Tuesday orally directed the CBI not to “precipitate” till further orders, the trial in a special court in the alleged illegal telephone exchange case in which former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran are the prime accused.

The oral instruction was given by Justice N Anand Venkatesh during the hearing of the petition by the Maran brothers, challenging the charges framed against them by the XIV additional judge for CBI cases, R Vasanthi on January 30.

Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the petitioners, alleged that the judge had failed to follow the guidelines given by the Supreme Court for framing charges.

Justice Venkatesh, who recorded it, adjourned the plea to Wednesday.

The special court for CBI cases had framed charges against the accused on under Sections 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) read with 409 (criminal breach of trust), 467, 471 and 477 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 13(2) read with 13 (1)(c) and 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

During the hearing, Dayanidhi appeared in person and alleged that the entire case was politically motivated and that CBI has no material evidence to prove that he abused his powers as a minister.

Kalanidhi, who also presented his submissions in person, submitted that there was not a single mention of his name in the 6,000 page charge sheet and that he was dragged into the case only because he was Dayanidhi’s brother.

The CBI had submitted that Dayanidhi Maran misused his office when he was union minister and installed a private telephone exchange at his residences in Chennai.

He utilised the facility for business transactions of Sun TV, causing a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the exchequer, the agency had submitted.

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