A special court for CBI cases on Thursday framed fresh charges against former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran , his brother and Sun Network chairman Kalanidhi and five others in connection with the illegal telephone exchange case.
R Vasanthi, judge of the 14th Additional Metropolitan Court, who is also the judge for the CBI framed the charges against all the seven accused. They were all present in court.
Besides the Maran brothers, the other accused are former BSNL general manager K Brahmanathan, former deputy general manager M P Velusamy, Dayanidhi Maran's private secretary Gauthaman and Kannan and Sun TV employee Ravi.
The judge had to frame fresh charges as her predecessor M Natarajan had discharged all of them for what he considered as want of evidence in March this year. However, the high court held that there was ample evidence against them and directed the trial court to resume the trial and frame fresh charges within 12 weeks. The Supreme Court also upheld the high court order and directed the Maran brothers to face trial.
According to CBI, Dayanidhi Maran, during the check period of June 2004 to December 2006 when he was Union Minister for Communication, misused his office and got a 700-line private telephone exchange installed at his residences in Chennai and allowed it to be used for business transactions of Sun Network, owned by Kalanidhi, thereby causing a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the exchequer.