Marans in court in BSNL illegal telephone exchange case

Nearly four years after receiving complaints regarding the scam, the probe commenced in 2011.

Chennai: Former union minister Dayanidhi Maran and his elder brother Kalanidhi Maran, who owns Sun TN Network, appeared before a special court for CBI cases in Chennai on Monday in connection with the BSNL illegal telephone exchange case.

The Maran brothers, along with five others accused in the scam, appeared before the XIV special judge for CBI cases, S. Baskaran to receive copies of the charge sheet. When the matter came up for hearing, the SPP for CBI sought time to serve copies of the charge sheet. Meanwhile, four accused including Kalanidhi Maran filed bail bonds before the court. The special judge adjourned the matter to May 22 for further hearing. Earlier, Dayanidhi Maran and two others had submitted bail bonds.

In an effort to avoid media glare, the Maran brothers had taken a circuitous route to reach the CBI court, which is located in the Family Court complex. They entered through the nearby Principal Sessions Court complex.

According to CBI, Dayanidhi Maran, when he was union minister for communication and information technology in the UPA-1 Government, abused his official position for the benefit of Sun TV Network. He installed a private telephone exchange at his residence in Chennai from June 2004 to December 2006 and which he connected to the Sun TV office to facilitate the network to make illegal calls for voice and data

The CBI has alleged that 764 telephone numbers were provided to Dayanidhi Maran and no bills were raised for their use causing a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to BSNL, Chennai and MTNL, Delhi. The lines were first connected from his residence in Gopalapuram and later from his Boat Club home to his brother’s Sun TV office for data-heavy calls like up-linking videos.

BSNL’s Chief Technical Officer, S. Kannan and electrician KS Ravi of Sun TV network, former BSNL general manager K Brahmnathan, former DGM, MP Velusamy and Dayanidhi Maran’s private secretary Gowthaman, who were involved in the case, also appeared before the special judge.

Nearly four years after receiving complaints regarding the scam, the probe commenced in 2011. An FIR was filed in October 2013 and after a detailed probe, the CBI filed chargesheet before the special principal court for CBI cases last year.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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