Chennai, June 19 (BPNS)
A single bench of the Madras High Court on Monday refused to stay proceedings in the case pending against Tamil Nadu higher education minister, K. Ponmudi. The case was that Ponmudi as a minister for Mines and Mineral resources between 2007 and 2011 had obtained quarry licenses in favour of his son, friends and relatives.
The single bench judge dismissed a petition filed by the minster’s son, P. Gowthamasigamani who was the second accused in the case. The case was pending before the Villupuram Principal Sessions Court which is also special court for trying cases against Members of Parliament or Members of Legislative Assembly.
Justice Chandrashekharan of the Madras High Court while dismissing the petition pointed out that the allegation against the petitioner and other accused was that they had quarried 2,64,644 loads of excess red sand.
The prosecution informed the court that the petitioner had blatantly violated the quarry license conditions and thereby causing a loss of Rs 28,36,40,600 to the public exchequer by not paying the seigniorage fee for the red sand that was excavated beyond the permissible limits.
The court also observed and said, “From the consideration of the materials produced in this case, there are materials available to form an opinion that there are grounds of presuming that petitioner had committed offenses alleged in the final report and to frame appropriate charges.”
The single bench judge also said that there was also a bar under Section 19(3)(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 for the granting of stays and dismissed the petition.