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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Chennai HC refuses to stay trial in corruption case against DMK minister Ponmudy

The Madras High Court on Monday refused to stay proceedings in the case pending against Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudi.

The case was that Ponmudi as a minister for Mines and Mineral resources between 2007 and 2011 had obtained quarry licenses in favour of his son, friends and relatives.

A single bench judge dismissed a petition filed by the minister’s son P. Gowtham Sigamani who was the second accused in the case. The case was pending before the Villupuram Principal Sessions Court which is also a special court for trying cases against Members of Parliament or Members of Legislative Assembly.

Justice G. Chandrasekharan of the Madras High Court, while dismissing the petition, pointed out that the allegation against the petitioner and other accused was that they had quarried 2,64,644 loads of excess red sand.

The prosecution informed the court that the petitioner had blatantly violated the quarry license conditions and thereby causing a loss of Rs 28,36,40,600 to the public exchequer by not paying the seigniorage fee for the red sand that was excavated beyond the permissible limits.

“From the consideration of the materials produced in this case, there are materials available to form an opinion that there are grounds of presuming that petitioner had committed offences alleged in the final report and to frame appropriate charges,” Justice Chandrasekharan said.

The single-bench judge also said that there was also a bar under Section 19(3)(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 for the granting of stays and dismissed the petition.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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