×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Minister Periyasamy to face trial; Madras HC sets aside order discharging him in corruption case

The matter pertains to alleged corruption against the minister relating to allotment of a house under the Tamil Nadu Housing Board during the previous DMK rule of 2006-2011.
Last Updated 26 February 2024, 11:00 IST

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday set aside an order of a Special Court for trial of Prevention of Corruption Act, discharging Tamil Nadu Rural Development Minister I Periyasamy from a corruption case, and directed him to stand trial.

Stating that the legitimacy of the administration of criminal justice will be eroded and public confidence shaken if MLAs and ministers facing corruption cases are able to short-circuit criminal trials, the judge said the public should not be led to believe that a trial against a politician in this state is nothing but a mockery of dispensing criminal justice.

A Constitutional court is duty-bound, under the Constitution, to ensure that such things do not come to pass, the judge added.

The matter pertains to alleged corruption against the minister relating to allotment of a house under the Tamil Nadu Housing Board during the previous DMK rule of 2006-2011.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh said the Additional Special Court for Trial of Criminal Cases related to elected Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu here should resume hearing on or before March 26 -- within one month from today.

The trial court shall, as far as practicable, conduct trial from day to day, and complete the same on or before July 31, 2024, the judge added.

All the accused, including Minister Periyasamy, shall appear before the Special Court on March 28. Upon such appearance, they shall furnish a bond of Rs 1 lakh each with two sureties under Section 88 CrPC to the satisfaction of the Special Court, the judge added.

If the accused, including Periyasamy, adopt any dilatory tactics, the trial court can insist upon their presence and remand them in custody, as laid down by the Supreme Court in State of Uttar Pradesh vs. Shambhu Nath Singh case, the judge added.

The judge said that as on the date of taking cognisance of the offences, Periyasamy was an MLA, which meant that it was the Speaker and not the Governor who was the competent authority to grant permission to prosecute him.

Therefore, the permission/sanction granted by the Speaker does not suffer from any infirmity or want of authority, the judge added, stating that for these reasons, the petition filed by Periyasamy seeking discharge, once the trial commenced, was not maintainable.

Consequently, the Special Court -- to which the case had been transferred from the trial court -- committed a gross illegality in entertaining and allowing a second discharge petition in the midst of trial, the judge added.

"This court has no hesitation in holding that the order dated March 17, 2023 discharging A3 (Periyasamy) smacks of manifest illegality and grave procedural impropriety...," the judge further said.

ADVERTISEMENT
(Published 26 February 2024, 11:00 IST)

Follow us on

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT