New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with the Madras High Court’s suo motu order for reopening the acquittal of Tamil Nadu Minister K. Ponmudi and his wife in a disproportionate assets case.
The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud dismissed the plea and asked the petitioners to raise their contentions with the Madras High Court.
The CJI praised Justice Anand Venkatesh of the Madras HC for passing the suo motu order, saying that the petitioners will be at liberty to raise their contentions before the high court.
In August, Justice Venkatesh had exercised his suo motu revision powers and held that the transfer of the case against the Tamil NaduHigher Education Minister from the district court at Villupuram to the district court at Vellore wasillegal.
In July 2022, the transfer was ordered by the Madras High Court itself in its administrative side.
Justice Venkatesh, however, issued notice to the prosecutor and the accused for a fresh hearing.
The minister and his wife then approached the top court. But the CJI refused to entertain the plea and also expressed concerns about the manner in which the trial was transferred.
“Thank God that we have judges like Anand Venkatesh in the high courts. Look at the conduct. The Chief Justice transfers the trial from one district to another district. Where is that power? There is no administrative power to transfer trial. It is a judicial power,” The CJI said.
He also said that Justice Venkatesh was “absolutely right in his observations”.