Illegal exchange case: High Court disposes of pleas against framing of charges against Maran bros

The Madras High Court has rejected the plea of three persons accused in the illegal telephone exchange case, involving the Maran brothers, to give an opportunity to their counsel to make submissions before the trial court at the time of framing of charges on Wednesday. Justice Anand Venkatesh was disposing of the petition filed by Vedagiri Gowthaman, Dayanidhi Maran's private secretary, S Kannan, and K S Ravi, who are among the seven accused, seeking to quash Monday's order of Additional Judge for CBI cases fixing Wednesday for framing charges.

The Judge rejected the contention of three of the accused and made it clear that at the time of framing charges, the trial court only needs to give the available material to the accused persons and there was no requirement to hear the counsel on the sufficiency of the materials. The petitioners apprehended that the trial court might proceed to frame charges on Wednesday solely on the basis of the draft charges submitted by the prosecution.

A CBI court had in August framed charges and ordered trial of former Union telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and others in the case of alleged setting up of “illegal” telephone exchanges to benefit the Sun TV Network of his elder brother Kalanithi Maran during 2004-06.