Former Congress MP from Tamil Nadu sentenced to 2 years’ jail in cheque bounce case
The Madras High Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s order sentencing former Congress lawmaker R Anbarasu and his associate P Mani to two years’ imprisonment in a 17-year-old cheque bounce case.
Judge PN Prakash said while passing the verdict that the 78-year-old Congress leader Anbarasu and his associate Mani have to surrender immediately.
Anbarasu had taken a loan of Rs 35 lakh as the chairperson of the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Educational Charitable Trust from Chennai-based financier Mukundchand Bothra in 2002.
However, when the three-time Congress MP gave a cheque to repay the loan in April 2006, it was returned due to insufficient balance. Bothra filed a petition before Chennai George Town local metropolitan court, saying that the cheque offered by the Congress leader was returned by the bank.
“When I submitted the cheque before the Bank of Baroda’s Chennai KK Nagar branch, it bounced due to insufficient balance. Though I informed this to Anbarasu, he was not ready to repay my loan. He and the trustees of Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Educational Charitable Trust should be punished under IPC section 138 (dishonour of a cheque) of the Negotiable Instruments Act,” Bothra had said in his petition.
Subsequently, the court directed the police to book Anbarasu and other trustees including his wife Kamala Anbarasu, P Mani, S Paramasivam Pillai, TKT Nathan, M Shanmugaselvi and M Paramasivam under the Indian Penal Code’s section138.
The George Town metropolitan court VIII’s magistrate N Kothandaraj also awarded a two-year jail term to the Congress leader, his wife and associate Mani on May 2015.
One of the accused, Nathan, died during the trial. The court also acquitted Paramasivam Pillai, Paramasivam and Shanmugaselvi. But, it confirmed the prison term to Anbarasu and Mani.
Along with the prison term, the magistrate ordered Anbarasu to repay the loan along with an interest of Rs 22 Lakh at the rate of 9% for eight years.
The former MP then challenged the metropolitan court’s order before the Chennai additional sessions court in 2015. However, additional sessions court judge V Shanthi upheld the lower court’s order.
The additional sessions court removed Anbarasu’s wife Kamala from the case after she died during the trial and ordered the politician and Mani to surrender immediately.
They approached the high court for relief from the lower court’s order. However, the high court dismissed the appeal petitions and upheld the George Town court’s order.
Anbarasu was a three-time Congress MP, elected from Chennai Central and erstwhile Chengalpattu parliamentary constituencies.