Chennai: In fresh trouble for former Telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, the Madras High Court today cancelled his interim anticipatory bail in the alleged illegal telephone exchange case and directed him to surrender before the CBI within three days. “…interim anticipatory bail is cancelled,” Justice S Vaidhyananthan said while granting Maran three days time to surrender before the CBI, which is investigating the case.
The Judge was passing the order after hearing arguments on the CBI plea for cancellation of Maran’s interim anticipatory bail and also on the former DMK minister’s petition that the interim bail may be made a permanent one.
CBI has registered an FIR against Maran and others alleging that more than 300 high-speed telephone lines were provided at his residence here and extended to his brother Kalanithi Maran’s SUN TV channel to enable its uplinking when Dayanidhi Maran was Telecom Minister from 2004-07.
Apprehending arrest in the case, Maran had moved the court and Justice R Subbiah had on June 30 granted him anticipatory bail for six weeks subject to the condition that he appears before CBI on July 1 and cooperates in the investigation.
CBI later moved the high court seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail on the ground that he was not cooperating in the investigation.
During the arguments in the previous hearings, Maran had contended that the CBI was seeking cancellation of his bail to malign him.
P S Raman, counsel for Maran, had contended that no evidence had been provided so far to prove the allegations and wondered how BSNL telephone lines could be used to telecast videos. “How can you telecast cinema with telephone lines?” he had asked.
Raman claimed that the CBI with an intention of maligning Maran was alleging he had not cooperated with the probe, that too, after the rejection of security clearance to the Sun Group, owned by his family, by the Home Ministry.
He also said while the alleged fraud took place in 2011 as per CBI, the FIR was filed only in 2013. Additional Solicitor-General G Rajagopalan, who had appeared on behalf of CBI, however, said Maran’s custodial interrogation was important to find out the real beneficiary of the “fraud” and the quantum of loss caused to the exchequer.
As arguments remained inconclusive on the CBI plea, Justice Vaidhyanathan had on August 5 adjourned the matter for today.