CHENNAI: The Madras High Court today upheld the acquittal of former minister TM Selvaganapathy by a CBI court in an over two-decades-old corruption case related to the purchase of colour TVs for a Tamil Nadu government scheme.
Dismissing the appeal filed by the CBI against the 2009 order by the lower court, Justice G Jayachandran said the prosecution had failed to conduct the investigation properly and collect adequate material to substantiate the charges.
"After perusal of the entire records and the submissions made by the counsels, this court finds plausible the reasons given by the trial court for acquitting the accused," he said.
The matter relates to purchase of colour TV sets between 1994-1996, during the first government of late chief minister Jayalalithaa, for being supplied to panchayats free of cost.
The prosecution had alleged that Selvaganapathy, as the then rural development minister, received a bribe of Rs 40.60 lakh from two senior officials of the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) over the purchase of TV sets.
The CBI had registered a case against the three under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the principal special judge for CBI cases acquitted them on January 23, 2009.
Challenging this, the CBI filed the present appeal.
Justice Jayachandran said the failure of the prosecution in marshalling evidence to prove the charges forced the trial court to acquit the accused and he was not inclined to interfere with its findings.