DMK minister K Ponmudy gets 3 yrs in prison in disproportionate assets case | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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DMK minister K Ponmudy gets 3 yrs in prison in disproportionate assets case

Dec 21, 2023 11:10 AM IST

The court also imposed a fine of ₹50 lakhs each on Ponmudy and his wife.

The Madras High Court on Thursday sentenced Tamil Nadu state’s higher education minister K Ponmudy to 3 years of simple imprisonment in a 1.75-crore disproportionate assets case, ANI reported.

The case pertains to Ponmudy amassing wealth disproportionately to the tune of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1.75 crore in his name and in the name of his wife which was 65.99% more than his known sources of income (PTI)(HT_PRINT)
The case pertains to Ponmudy amassing wealth disproportionately to the tune of 1.75 crore in his name and in the name of his wife which was 65.99% more than his known sources of income (PTI)(HT_PRINT)

The court also imposed a fine of 50 lakhs each on Ponmudy and his wife.

On Tuesday, the Madras High Court convicted Ponmudy and his wife in the case, setting aside a trial court’s order which acquitted them.

The case pertains to Ponmudy (72) amassing wealth disproportionately to the tune of 1.75 crore in his name and in the name of his wife which was 65.99% more than his known sources of income when he was a minister in the DMK-led regime during 2006 to 2011.

They were, however, acquitted by a trial court in Villupuram in 2016. On Tuesday, the high court set aside that verdict and noted that the charge of offence punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, stands proved against both accused.

“A complete miscarriage of justice had occurred by the omission of reliable evidence and by mis-interpretation of the evidence,” Justice Jayachandran noted. “…the overwhelming evidence against the respondents and the unsustainable reasons given by the trial court for acquittal by ignoring those evidence compel this court to declare the judgment of the trial court is palpably wrong, manifestly erroneous and demonstrably unsustainable. Hence, this is a fit case for the appellate court to interfere and set it aside.”

The judge also held the trial court wrong to consider the accused couple as separate entities instead of clubbing them together.

“The trial court has failed to understand that, the substance of charge against A-2 is that, she being the wife of A-1 (public servant) holding the assets of A-1 which he had acquired through unknown source,” the court held. “Whether, the lack of capital/source to yield income proportionate to the properties acquired in the name of A-2 during the check period is the point which ought to have been first examined by the trial court…”

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