The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered a revision of a special court orders that had discharged two Tamil Nadu ministers in disproportionate assets cases against them, Bar and Bench reported.
Justice N Anand Venkatesh ordered the revision of the disproportionate asset cases filed against State Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management KKSSR Ramachandran and Minister for Human Resource Management Thangam Thenarasu in July and December.
The development comes two weeks after Justice Venkatesh had declared illegal the transfer of a case of disproportionate wealth against Minister of Higher Education K Ponmudi from Villupuram district court to the one in Vellore in July 2022. The minister was eventually acquitted by the Vellore district court on June 28.
On Wednesday, Justice Venkatesh remarked that there appears to be a “significant issue” in how special courts were managing these cases.
“I’ll say that something is wrong with the special court,” the judge said, according to Bar and Bench. “A perfect game was played between the accused and the prosecution.”
Tamil Nadu’s Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption had charged Ramachandran, his wife and a friend in 2011 under the Prevention of Corruption Act over the possession of assets worth Rs 44.59 lakh, which was allegedly disproportionate to their sources of income.
In July, the three were acquitted after the investigating officer in the case submitted a revised assessment negating any criminal misconduct, according to The Indian Express.
Similarly, Thennarasu and his wife were charged over the possession of assets worth Rs 74.48 lakh allegedly disproportionate to their sources of income in 2012. Ten years later, the anti-corruption department filed a closure report saying that no offence had been made against the two, resulting in their acquittal.
Justice Venkatesh pointed out that initially a case had been made against the ministers by the investigating officers but subsequently they filed a “final closure report”, according to Live Law.
The judge noted that the report was “readily accepted” by the special court, which was “diametrically opposite” to what had been previously submitted to it.
“There is not a shred of independent reasoning in the order of discharge,” Justice Venkatesh observed. “The special court decided to literally play the role of lady justice by blindfolding itself to the deliberate and devious plot that was unfurling before it.”