ALSO READIllegal telephone exchange case: Court to pronounce orders on discharge pleas of Maran brothers on March 14 CBI court adjourns hearing in illegal telephone case to Feb 5 Illegal telephone exchange scam: Maran brothers acquitted Maran brothers, others discharged in illegal telephone exchange case CBI opposes discharge pleas of Maran brothers in 'illegal' telephone exchange case
In a relief to DMK leader and former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, a special CBI court here today discharged him, his brother Kalanithi and five other accused in the "illegal" telephone exchange case.
The judge had on March 9 reserved orders for today in the case related to alleged 700 telephone line exchange set up at the residence of Dayanidhi Maran in 2004-06 when he was the minister and its 'misuse' for Sun TV owned by his brother.
Other accused who have been discharged are former BSNL general manager K Brahmanathan, former BSNL deputy general manager M P Velusamy, Dayanidhi Maran's private secretary V Gauthaman, and K S Ravi and S Kannan of Sun TV.
"I now stand vindicated..I believe in our judicial system, I am so happy that justice has triumphed," Dayanidhi told Times Now, reacting to the court's verdict.
He dubbed the charges against him in the case as "exaggerated lies, sensationalised lies."
"CBI had to please someone's ego and they were forced to file the case," he charged adding the people had a right to know as to why a "fake case" was filed when there was no evidence.
This is the second corruption case by CBI where DMK leaders have got legal relief.
In his over 100-page order, the Judge said no evidence was produced with regard to phone line connections as alleged by CBI.
"This court comes to the conclusion that the prosecution has not produced sufficient material to establish allegations against Dayanithi Maran who was shown as third accused, that he got more phone connections with a mala fide intention to use the same for Sun TV," the Judge said.
Besides, there wasno evidence to show Kalanithi, Chairman of Sun TV, was vicariously liable for the alleged offences, he added.
The CBI in its charge sheet had alleged that an illegal private telephone exchange was set up at the city residence of Dayanidhi during 2004-06 when he was the telecom minister and used for the business transactions involving the Sun Network owned by his brother Kalanithi.
The central agency had alleged that Dayanidhi had caused a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the exchequer.
During the hearing of the discharge petitions, the Maran brothers and others argued that they were innocent and did not commit any irregularities as alleged by the prosecution.
Senior counsel Kabil Sibal, who had appeared for the Maran brothers, had contended that the case was foisted on them.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)