Former education minister P M L Kalyanasundaram who was acquitted of all charges in an examination fraud case on Wednesday would now be hoping to get back his ministerial berth which had been kept vacant by Chief Minister N Rangasamy since November, 2011.
The former minister was awarded with the education portfolio on his maiden entry into the Legislative Assembly in June, 2011. A case of impersonation, forgery, falsification of records and malpractice was filed against Kalyanasundaram, a school dropout, after he was accused of fraud while writing the Science paper of the SSLC Supplemantary Examination on September 29, 2011 at Tagore Matriculation High School, Tindivanam.
Granting an appeal against the order of the judicial magistrate which had convicted the former minister, the Tindivanam Additional District Magistrate Shanmughanadan observed that the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond doubt.
Kalyanasundaram had been accused of hiring a proxy to write the Science examination and conspiring with government school teacher P Adavan who was an invigilator at the exam hall. He was also alleged to have colluded with M Rajnikanth, DEO clerk, to get registered at the Tindivanam centre by providing a false address. Kalyanasundaram skipped the Social Science paper on September 30 after the case was filed by Villupuram Crime branch.
The minister later went into hiding fearing arrest with the Tamil Nadu police seeking the assistance of even the Speaker of the territorial assembly to arrest him. With pressure mounting on the AINRC government, the Chief Minister dropped Kalyanasundaram from the Council of Ministers in November, 2011 but did not appoint another minister to the portfolio. Kalyanasundaram was later granted anticipatory bail by the Supreme Court and appeared before inquiry officer.
The impersonation charges were dropped by the prosecution as the sample finger prints from the examination paper matched that of Kalyanasundaram.
On January 13 last, Judicial Magistrate I A Saritha sentenced the former minister to two years imprisonment for forgery under Section 468 of the IPC and two years more for falsification of records and conspiracy under Sections 471 and 120(b) respectively. Government officials Adavan and Rajnikanth were also given similar sentences.
All three were granted bail after they preferred an appeal. The former minister offered prayers at a local temple after Wednesday’s acquittal.