MARANS CHAL­LENGE CBI’S CHARGES

Move Madras High Court against charges framed by CBI court; CBI asked to file counter; pleas posted for Oc­to­ber 3 for fur­ther hear­ing

The New Indian Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Chen­nai: For­mer union min­is­ter Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanidhi Maran have challenged the charges framed against them by the CBI court in the il­le­gal tele­phone ex­change case. They have ap­proached the Madras High Court.

FOR­MER union min­is­ter Dayanidhi Maran and his brother and Sun group chair­man Kalanidhi Maran have challenged the charges framed against them by the CBI court in the decade-old il­le­gal tele­phone ex­change case.

The ac­cused have ap­proached the Madras High Court stat­ing that the court had framed charges against them solely based on the opin­ion of the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer and not on the ma­te­rial avail­able on record.

Se­nior coun­sel Neeraj Kis­han Kaul rep­re­sent­ing Dayanidhi Maran sub­mit­ted be­fore the Madras High court that the charges framed are “lame and shame”, and are li­able to be quashed.

Ad­mit­ting the plea, Jus­tice A D Ja­gadish Chandira di­rected CBI to file counter and posted the pleas for Oc­to­ber 3 for fur­ther hear­ing.

Stat­ing that the en­tire case was based on the pre­sump­tion of CBI and that there was not even a sin­gle doc­u­ment to prove that the tele­phones were used for the ben­e­fit of Sun TV, Kaul pointed out that there was no shred of ev­i­dence to prove that such con­nec­tions were used. “Tele­phones can­not be used for broad­cast. There is ab­so­lutely no ev­i­dence to prove that the lines were used for pro­grammes of Sun TV,” he added.

“The CBI was wrong in al­leg­ing that the for­mer min­is­ter held tele­phone con­nec­tions more than that are legally per­mit­ted. The re­stric­tion to have only three con­nec­tions will ap­ply only to Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment as per the salaries and al­lowances of Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment Act. It does not ap­ply to a cab­i­net min­is­ter. There is no statu­tory bar for a min­is­ter to have more than three tele­phone ser­vice con­nec­tions,” coun­sel said.

“The min­is­ter did not have 764 tele­phone con­nec­tions as al­leged by CBI. Even if he had them, there was no statu­tory bar against it, he added. “In the en­tire charge-sheet, there is no sin­gle word say­ing the con­nec­tions were used by the min­is­ter. The CBI has only said that it could be used, or can be used,” coun­sel said.

Point­ing out the al­le­ga­tion of forgery, he said they al­leged forgery, but failed to ex­plain what ex­actly was the forgery and which doc­u­ments were forged in what way.

Neeraj Kis­han Kaul, Coun­sel rep­re­sent­ing Dayanidhi Maran

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