Another DMK min in trouble as Madras HC orders re-trial of corruption case against Periyasamy

Bench sets aside discharge of minister, orders to conduct re-trial on daily basis

I. Periyasamy I. Periyasamy

In a huge setback to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Government in Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court on Monday ordered re-trial by special court in a corruption case against Rural Development Minister I. Periyasamy. The bench directed the special court to conduct the trial on a daily basis and send the accused to judicial custody if they indulged in dilatory tactics.

 Hearing the suo motu petition against the lower court’s judgment discharging Periyasamy, Justice N. Anand Venkatesh set aside the discharge and directed the case be transferred to the Special Court for trial of cases against MPs and MLAs for re-trial. The bench ordered the minister and another accused in the case to appear before the special court on March 28 and furnish a bond of Rs 1 lakh.

Periyasamy is facing charges for allegedly gaining pecuniary advantage by allotting Tamil Nadu Housing Board land in Chennai under the "Impeccable Honest Government Servant quota" to one Ganesan, when the Minister held the Housing portfolio in 2008. 

Ordering the special court to conduct trial on a daily basis and send periodical reports to the High Court registrar general, the bench gave the special court the liberty to send the accused including the minister to judicial custody if they indulge in dilatory tactics, LiveLaw reported.

Hearing the case, the bench observed that the court should send a message to the public that it could take action even against people in the highest rank. 

The Madras High Court had earlier initiated similar action against former DMK minister K. Ponmudy, ministers Thangam Thennarasu and KKSSR Ramachandran. The High Court in December last year convicted Ponmudy in a disproportionate assets case, in which he was discharged by a lower court. 

Similarly, former minister Senthil Balaji is facing an Enforcement Directorate probe and is under judicial custody in a money laundering case. 

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