Chennai, Feb 27 (PTI) The CBI today strongly opposed the discharge petitions filed by former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and others in the alleged illegal telephone exchange scam case, saying there was prima facie material to proceed against them. Also Read - Liquor Likely to Become Costly in Delhi. Here's Why

When the petitions came up for hearing before Special CBI court judge S Natarajan, special public prosecutor for CBI contended that Dayanidhi Maran, a DMK leader, had abused his position as a Union minister to benefit the family-owned SUN TV group from 2004 to 2006. Also Read - 15 BJP Workers Admitted to Hospital After Being Attacked by TMC Leaders in East Midnapur | Updates

Counsel for the Maran brothers and others argued they were innocent and had not committed any irregularities as alleged by the prosecution. Also Read - Nirbhaya Case 16 December: 8th Anniversary, Nothing Has Changed As 'India's Daughters' Are Still Fighting For Justice

The special public prosecutor accused Dayanidhi Maran of having installed a private telephone exchange with 764 telephone lines at his residence to facilitate illegal uplink of SUN TV data, causing a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to state-run telecom majors BSNL, Chennai and MTNL, Delhi.

Besides the Maran brothers, SUN TV network’s Chief Technical Officer S Kannan and electrician K S Ravi and Dayanidhi Maran’s private secretary Gowthaman, were also involved in scam, he contended.

Claiming there was prima facie material to proceed against them, he wanted the court to dismiss the discharge petitions.

Judge Natarajan directed both sides to file their affidavits and adjourned the matter to March 5 for further hearing.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.