Minister I Periyasamy
Minister I PeriyasamyTwitter/I Periyasamy

Madras HC sets aside discharge of DMK Minister I Periyasamy in corruption case

The case against Periyasamy was that he had allegedly allotted a plot of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB), under the state government’s discretionary quota, to former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s personal security officer C Ganesan.

The Madras High Court, on Monday, February 26, has set aside a trial court order that discharged Tamil Nadu Minister of Rural Development I Periyasamy from a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The court has transferred the case to the Special Court for trial of cases against MPs and MLAs and directed to complete the case within a period of one from the date of order. Justice Anand Venkatesh had taken up suo motu revision of a 2008 case when Periyasamy served as the minister for Housing in the then Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) regime.

The court has directed the trial court to conduct trials on a day-to-day basis and send a periodic report to the HC’s registrar general. According to a LiveLaw report, the court also granted liberty to the trial court to send the accused to judicial custody if they resort to dilatory tactics.

The case against Periyasamy was that he had allegedly allotted a plot of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB), under the state government’s discretionary quota, to former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s personal security officer C Ganesan. This was probed in 2011 when the All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) came to power. According to the prosecution, Ganesan had falsely claimed that he was living in a private residence and sought a TNHB plot, and was immediately allotted a plot under the Mogappair Eri scheme. Ganesan, K Kavitha - a real estate developer, and Periyasamy were listed as accused in the case registered by DVAC under Prevention of Corruption Act.

Periyasamy contended in his initial discharge petition that the case was borne out of malice, which was rejected by the Special Court, the High Court, as well as the Supreme Court. In February 2023, Periyasamy filed another discharge petition under section 19 (previous sanction necessary for prosecution) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The special court discharged the Minister from the case.

Justice Venkatesh observed that the discharge order suffered from “several incurable legal blunders and illegalities”, which resulted in a gross miscarriage of justice.

Read: ‘System failed’: Madras HC on discharge of two politicians in corruption cases

The judge had also taken suo motu revisions of the cases against Ministers K Ponmudy, KKSSR Ramachandran, and Thangam Thennarasu, and former chief minister O Panneerselvam, which are still underway.

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