Chennai: Former communication minister Dayanidhi Maran and brother Kalanidhi Maran had filed a petition to cancel charges of setting up illegal phone exchanges. Madras high court on rejected the plea made by them.

The Maran brothers challenged the accusation calling it “lame” and want it to be reversed. The charges were framed by a CBI court not on evidence on record, but on the basis of the investigating officer’s opinion. On August 30, the CBI court in Chennai framed charges and ordered trail of Dayanidhi and 6 others involved in the illegal phone set up; it is believed that the action was done to benefit Kalanidhi’s organisation - SunTV Network.

“There is no statutory bar for a minister to have more than three telephone service connections,” said Maran defending his stand in the case. He also stated that the restrictions on phone connections mentioned in the Salaries and Allowance of Members of the Parliament Act only applied to MPs and that the cabinet ministers are under no such obligation. The complaint stated that the minister has 764 telephone connections, this claim has been refuted by Maran, saying that even if it was true, there is no standing law against it.

The same stance has been taken by others, except BSNL officials, who have been accused by the CBI in the case presented to Madras high court.