Madras HC sets aside order discharging TN minister Periyasamy, directs him to face trial

Chennai, Feb 26( IANS): A single-judge bench of the Madras High Court on Monday set aside an order passed by a trial court in 2023 discharging Rural Development Minister I. Periyasamy in a case booked of alleged irregular transfer of plot to the personal security officer of former Chief Minister late M. Karunanidhi.

The plot in question belonged to the Tamil Nadu Housing Development Board (TNHDB).

Justice N. Anand Venkatesh directed the minister to face trial along with two other accused persons in the case, as he ordered the proceedings to be held on a day-to-day basis.

The judge also directed the trial court to remand the accused persons to judicial custody if they adopt any dilatory tactics.

The court sought a periodic report on the progress of the trial which needs to be submitted to the Registrar General of the high court.

The case relates to the allotment of a high-income group plot of Tamil Nadu Housing Development Board in Chennai to a person named Ganesan, who was then the personal security officer of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

Ganeshan, according to the prosecution, was allocated the plot for being an “impeccable and honest government servant”. During this period in March 2008, Periyasamy served as the Housing Minister.

The DVAC had booked the case after the AIADMK came to power in 2011.

The then Tamil Nadu Speaker P. Dhanabal had granted sanction for the prosecution of Periyasamy on December 17, 2012.

However, in 2016, Periyasamy filed a discharge petition on multiple grounds, including the claim that the sanction to prosecute should have been obtained from the Governor, and not the Speaker.

A special court for MP/MLA cases had dismissed the discharge petition on July 6, 2016 and its order was confirmed by the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court in November and December 2022, respectively.

Periyasamy had filed another discharge petition before the special court on February 21, 2023. The second petition was also filed on the ground that the competent authority to grant sanction was the Governor, and not the Speaker.

The special court that heard the case, however, accepted the contention and passed a discharge order on March 17, 2023.

The Madras High Court took up the case on suo moto in September 2023, leading to the present order.



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Title: Madras HC sets aside order discharging TN minister Periyasamy, directs him to face trial

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