A three-judge bench comprising of justices TS Thakur, V Gopala Gowda and R Banumathi have allowed Maran’s anticipatory bail plea for urgent hearing. The apex court will now hear the plea at 2 pm on Wednesday.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for Maran and sought urgent listing of his plea.
On Monday, Madras High Court cancelled Maran’s bail plea and asked him to surrender before the CBI within three days in the controversial telephone exchange case. Maran is alleged to have installed a telephone exchange at his residence during his tenure as the union Telecom Minister between 2004 and 2007.
The Madras High Court held that “prima facie” Maran had “misused” his office by obtaining telephone connections “illegally”. The court also said that allegations against him were backed by material and rejected Maran’s accusations of political vendetta.
CBI had registered an FIR against Maran in 2013 alleging that more than 300 high-speed telephone lines were provided at his residence and extended to his brother Kalanithi Maran’s SUN TV channel to enable its uplinking.
Apprehending an arrest in the case, Maran moved the High Court. On June 30th, Justice R Subbiah granted him anticipatory bail for six weeks subject to the conditions that Maran appeared before the CBI on July 1 and cooperated in the investigation.
The CBI later moved the high court seeking a cancellation of the anticipatory bail on the ground that he was not cooperating in the investigation.
On Monday, the High Court sided with the CBI and rejected Maran’s accusation that the probe agency was seeking to cancel his interim bail only to humiliate him. The court said if the CBI wanted to arrest Maran it could have easily done so in January and October 2014 when Maran had appeared before the probe agaency without a bail protection.