Madras HC initiates revision case against DMK minister Periyasamy after discharge in corruption case

The case of the prosecution was that Periyasamy had allegedly obtained pecuniary advantage by allotting Tamil Nadu Housing Board land under the "Impeccable Honest Government Servant quota".
DMK Minister I Periyasamy (File Photo | Ashwin Prasath, EPS)
DMK Minister I Periyasamy (File Photo | Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday ordered issuing notice to DMK Minister I Periyasamy on a criminal revision case initiated by it, following his discharge from a corruption case by a trial court in March this year.

So far, the court has taken up on its own, similar cases against DMK ministers K Ponmudy, Thangam Thennarasu and KKSSR Ramachandran.

It has also initiated revision cases against expelled AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and senior party functionary and ex-minister B Valarmathi.

Invoking his powers under section 397 of Cr.P.C, Justice N Anand Venkatesh initiated on his own (suo motu) the criminal revision case against Periyasamy and also ordered issuing notice to the State government, returnable by October 12.

Periyasamy is state Minister for Rural Development.

The case of the prosecution was that Periyasamy had allegedly obtained pecuniary advantage by allotting Tamil Nadu Housing Board land here under the "Impeccable Honest Government Servant quota" to one Ganesan, when the Minister held the Housing portfolio in 2008.

Narrating the facts and the sequence of events, the judge said a petition was filed on February 21, 2023.

On the next hearing, the Special Public Prosecutor filed his counter and on the third hearing, orders were reserved.

On March 17, the Special Court allowed the petition and discharged Periyasamy from the case on the sole ground that the sanction given by the Speaker was invalid as the competent authority was the Governor and not the Speaker.

A case which had hitherto progressed at a rate worse than a snail, suddenly progressed and finished at lightning speed.

While the criminal conspiracy between A1 to A3 to obtain the allotment of the TNHB plot in favour of A1 took 22 days, the collaborative effort between the prosecution, the defense counsel and the Court to discharge Periyasamy was achieved in an equally incredible span of just 24 days, the judge added.

The judge said the Special Court has thrown all known norms of judicial propriety to the winds by allowing the discharge petition of A3 (Periyasamy) on the very same ground that had been negatived earlier by its predecessor and which order was later affirmed by this Court as well as the Supreme Court.

The judge said the order of discharge passed by the Special Court suffers from several incurable legal blunders and illegalities which has resulted in gross miscarriage of justice.

The earlier discharge petition raising an identical ground had been dismissed.

The Special Court could not sit in appeal over its own order and undo the same that too after the earlier order had been affirmed by this Court and the Supreme Court, the judge added.

The judge said on the date of taking cognisance, which was the date with reference to which sanction must be obtained, Periyasamy was only an MLA in the State Assembly and not a Minister.

This was precisely the reason why the prosecution chose to obtain the sanction of the Speaker which was in line with the majority view in P V Narasimha Rao case.

It was also amusing to notice that even Periyasamy did not canvass a case that the competent authority to grant sanction against him was the Governor, the judge added.

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