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Disproportionate assets case: HC names third judge for hearing

The DVAC had earlier submitted a 754-page ‘preliminary inquiry’ report and given a clean chit to the minister.

Published: 27th June 2021 05:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th June 2021 05:41 AM   |  A+A-

Madras High Court

Madras High Court (File photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has named Justice M Nirmal Kumar as the third judge to decide a disproportionate assets case against former Minister for Milk and Dairy Development KT Rajenthra Bhalaji. Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee passed the direction after conflicting judgements were passed by a division bench in March this year.

The issue pertains to a seven-year-old public interest litigation that sought registration of an FIR against Bhalaji for alleged amassment of wealth disproportionate to his income, ever since he held the post of the vice-president of Tiruthangal town panchayat in Virudhunagar district in 1996.

R Mahendran moved the PIL in 2013 accusing the minister of having declared that he had no known sources of income and that he was not even an income tax assessee when he contested the Assembly elections in 2011. The DVAC had earlier submitted a 754-page ‘preliminary inquiry’ report and given a clean chit to the minister.

On Friday, when the case came up for hearing before Justice Nirmal Kumar, the counsel for the minister Ajmal Khan informed the judge of the split verdict in the case. The judge recording the submissions adjourned the case to July 22 for further hearing.

It is to be recalled that on March 4, retired Justice M Sathyanarayanan directed the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to register an FIR against the minister, while Justice R Hemalatha differed and said she did not find any prima facie case made out warranting registration of an FIR.

In view of the dissenting order passed by Justice Hemalatha, Justice Sathyanarayanan forwarded the PIL to the Chief Justice for suitable action. Justice M Nirmal Kumar adjourned the plea to July 22 for the counsel of the minister to make his submissions.

What happened earlier?
R Mahendran moved the PIL in 2013 accusing the minister of having declared that he had no known sources of income and that he was not even an income tax assessee when he contested the Assembly elections in 2011. The DVAC had earlier submitted a 754-page ‘preliminary inquiry’ report and given a clean chit



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