News Brief

Madras High Court To Conclude All Six Suo Motu Revision Petitions Against Tamil Nadu Ministers, Ex-CM In February

Nishtha Anushree

Jan 09, 2024, 02:55 PM | Updated 02:55 PM IST

The Madras High Court (file photo).
The Madras High Court (file photo).

On Monday (8 January), the Madras High Court resolved to begin and conclude in February the ultimate hearing of all six suo motu revision petitions it has undertaken against the discharge/acquittal of four current Ministers, a former Chief Minister, and a previous Minister involved in different criminal cases.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh consolidated the revision petitions against Revenue Minister KKSSR Ramachandran, Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu, former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, and former Social Welfare Minister B Valarmathi, as the matter in question was identical for all, The Hindu reported.

The judge highlighted that the defendants in these four instances were acquitted from excessive assets cases solely because the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) had reversed its stance following each shift in the state's administration, subsequently clearing their names.

Hence, the judge stated that the focus of these four revision petitions would be to ascertain the legal validity of the closure reports submitted by DVAC subsequent to the charge sheet filing, as well as the legitimacy of the special courts for MP/MLA cases accepting such closure reports to exonerate the accused.

In order to maintain equilibrium between prioritising criminal cases involving legislators and ensuring these cases do not disrupt the usual proceedings of other cases, the judge made the decision to schedule hearings for these four criminal revision petitions daily at 3 pm, from 5 to 9 February.

The judge instructed the attorneys for all four suo motu revision petitions to provide their counter affidavits, written submissions, and the legal precedents they plan to use by 30 January. He also emphasised the need to avoid repetitive arguments in the February hearing.

Regarding the suo motu revision against I Periyasamy, the Rural Development Minister, it was initiated due to his acquittal from a case that involved the supposed irregular assignment of a Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) plot to C Ganesan, the personal security officer of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.

The reconsideration of the case against former Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy and his wife P Visalakshi was initiated following their acquittal from a disproportionate assets case. This decision was made by the Vellore Principal District and Sessions Court on 28 July 2023.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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