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Thursday, October 12, 2006

High Court upholds discharge of Ponmudi in wealth case

The Madras High Court has upheld the order of a lower court, discharging DMK Minister K Ponmudi and four others in the Rs 3.08 crore disproportionate wealth case.Mr Justice S Ashok Kumar upheld the order of Chief Judicial Magistrate/Special Judge, Villupuram on July 21, 2004 while dismissing the revision petition filed by DSP, Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, Cudallore.Mr Ponmudi and four of his relatives and friends, Saraswathi, Visalakshmi Ponmudi, Manivannan and Nandagopal, were charged for offences under section 13 (2) read with 13 (1) (3) of Prevention of Corruption Act. Saraswathi, Manivannan and Nandagopal are trustees of Siga Educational Trust.

According to the prosecution when he was the transport minister between May 1996 and March 2001, Mr Ponmudi had amassed wealth to the tune of Rs 3.08 crore in his name and in the names of his relatives and friends, which was disproportionate to his known sources of income.In his order, the judge said in view of the well settled position of law and enunciated by various courts that there was no concrete material to frame charges against tje accused. The expenditure was within the known sources of income of Mr Ponmudi as found by the trial court. Therefore, no interference was called for with the order of discharge passed by CJM/Special Judge, the judge observed.


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