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Phone exchange case: HC tells Marans to face trial
Tamil Nadu

Phone exchange case: HC tells Marans to face trial

S.Murari

The Madras High Court has rejected, for the third time, the plea of Dayanidhi and Kalanidhi Marans to stop their trial in the illegal telephone exchange case and told them to face it if they are innocent.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh has said there is absolutely no ground to interfere with the charges framed against Marans and seven others including BSNL officials, relating to misuse of office by Dayanidhi Maran when he was Telecom Minister in the UPA Government between 2004 to 2007 and getting a virtual telephone exchange installed in his houses in Chennai and allowing the high-density connection to be used for data transmission by Sun Network owned by Kalanidhi, thereby causing  a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the Government.

Dayanidhi is the DMK candidate from Central Chennai in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The judge dismissed a batch of criminal petitions by the two Marans, and said the special CBI court had fulfilled all the requirements before framing charges. Therefore, the trial should go on and it should be finished in four months.

The judge said” if the petitioners are confident that they have a strong case, they must face the trial and get an honourble acquittal “instead of trying to stall it. Noting that this was the third time they were coming to court to quash the proceedings pending in the trial court.”They have come up with the same plea every time, giving it a different form”.

Besides Marans, other accused include the then BSNL general manager and other staff. Dayanidhi’s ministerial assistants and Sun TV employees.