A special court today adjourned hearing of the “illegal” telephone exchange case against former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi to December 15. When the plea came up before the XIV Additional Judge for CBI cases S Natarajan, counsel representing the brothers moved memos requesting to dispense with their personal appearance today.
After the judge allowed the memo, counsel for the seven accused wanted the court to adjourn the case. They submitted they were in the process of engaging a senior counsel to argue the petitions to discharge them from the case.
Counsel for Sun TV’s chief technical officer and one of the accused, Kannan, moved an application seeking a direction to the CBI to release his passport that was seized during the investigation. Kannan wanted the court to release his passport as he was required to visit Singapore for official purposes.
To this, the CBI counsel submitted that he had to get instructions from investigating officers in Delhi and sought time to file his response. Recording the submissions, the judge adjourned the hearing.
According to the CBI, Dayanidhi Maran, during the check period of June 2004 to December 2006, when he was the Union minister for communication and information technology, misused his office and installed a private telephone exchange at his residences in Chennai and utilised the facility for business transactions involving Sun Network.
It said he had caused a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the exchequer. More than 700 telecom lines were installed at their residences in Boat Club and Gopalapuram, the agency charged. Among the accused were former BSNL general manager K Brahmnathan, former deputy general manager M P Velusamy and Dayanidhi Maran’s private secretary Gauthaman.