The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi to reinduct Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader and MLA K Ponmudy as a minister in the state Cabinet by Friday, Live Law reported.

The court said that it was “seriously concerned” about the conduct of the governor after he refused to reinduct Ponmudy as a minister in the state government.

A three-judge bench headed by the chief justice passed its order in a plea filed by the Tamil Nadu government against Ravi’s refusal to appoint Ponmudy as a Cabinet minister after his conviction in a disproportionate assets case was stayed by the top court on March 11.

Addressing Attorney General R Venkataramani, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said: “We did not want to say it out loud in court but you are now constraining us to say that aloud. This is not the way. [Governor RN Ravi] is defying the Supreme Court of India.”

“How can the governor say that, after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction, his reinduction as a minister will be against constitutional morality,” Chandrachud said to the attorney general. “The governor has to be informed that when the Supreme Court stays a conviction, it stays a conviction.”

On March 11, the court stayed the conviction and prison sentence of Ponmudy and his wife, P Visalakshi, in a disproportionate assets case. The couple had been sentenced to three years in jail by the Madras High Court in December. On account of the conviction, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader was disqualified as an MLA and ceased to be a Cabinet minister.

On March 13, Ponmudy was reinstated as a legislator after authorities revoked a notification that declared his Tirukoyilur Assembly constituency vacant.

The governor on March 17 wrote to Chief Minister MK Stalin saying that inducting Ponmudy would be against “constitutional morality”.

The Tamil Nadu government had last year moved the Supreme Court against the governor for keeping multiple bills pending and not sanctioning the investigation and prosecution in several corruption cases.