TN Minister Ponmudy acquitted in land grabbing case

Holding that the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond any reasonable doubt, Special Judge G Jayavel acquitted Ponmudy, a senior DMK leader and six others.
K Ponmudy
K Ponmudy

CHENNAI: A special court for trying cases against MP/MLAs acquitted Minister for Higher Education and senior DMK leader K Ponmudy in a case relating to the grabbing of government land by fabricating documents.

The special court judge G Jayavel pronounced the verdict in the case, acquitting Ponmudy and six others including the deputy mayor of Greater Chennai Corporation Magesh Kumar for want of material evidence to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt.

The FIR on the land grab was registered by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) in 2003 against Ponmudy, his mother-in-law P Saraswathi (late), Magesh Kumar and others. Of the 10 accused persons, three died during the course of the trial.

They were charged with grabbing government land measuring 3630 sqft located at Srinagar Colony in Saidapet by forcibly chasing away Kannan @ Kannappan who had raised a hut in the land. Later, the documents were allegedly fabricated to show Kannan had sold the land to Saraswathi for Rs 8 lakh. Ponmudy had constructed a house at a cost of Rs 35 lakh on the land.

The minister was accused of criminal misconduct, abusing official powers and adopting corrupt and illegal means to grab the land. The special court, in 2007, discharged Ponmudy from the case following a petition filed by him. However, the order was overturned by the Madras High Court in 2017 finding prima facie evidence against him.

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