Senior TN Minister Ponmudi is in fresh trouble: Here's how Chief Justice Chandrachud's verdict shocked him!

Senior Tamil Nadu Minister and veteran DMK leader K Ponmudi is in fresh trouble after his petition was quashed by a Supreme court verdict pronounced by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), DY Chandrachud. Ponmudi has been serving as the Tamil Nadu Minister for Higher Education and the verdict from the apex court had conferred him a legal backlash. 

In its verdict, the Supreme Court bench led by CJI has refused to entertain a plea challenging a Madras High Court order reopening the disproportionate assets case against him and his wife. Tamil Nadu's Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption has filed the disproportionate assets case against five people in 2002 during the ADMK's rule. Of those five were Ponmudi and his wife and the anti-corrpution agency has alleged that Ponmudi has amassed disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 1.4 crore. 

Ponmudi was accused of amassing illegal wealth when he was a DMK Minister between 1996 and 2001. The two-decade long case had initial hearing before the Villupuram court and was later shifted to the Vellore principal district court. Earlier this year, the principal sessions judge Vasanthaleela of the Vellore court had acquitted Ponmudi and his wife.

The duo was acquitted after the judge cited that the prosecution failed to furnish sufficient evidence to prove that the accused were guilty. While the verdict poured big respite to Ponmudi, it didn't last long as in August this year, the Madras High Court Justice Anand Venkatesh initiated the suo motu drive by invoking section 397 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Justice Anand had also revoked the lower court's verdict of acquitting Ponmudi and his wife.

As the reopening of case by a Madras High Court Justice on a basis of suo motu had troubled Ponmudi, he appealed to the Supreme Court, challenging Madras High Court's order of reopening the case. His plea was heard by the Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice Chandrachud and during the hearing, the Chief Justice has refused to accept Ponmudi's plea of challenging Madras High Court order passed by judge Anand Venkatesh. 

On how Chandrachud's verdict shocked Ponmudi, the Chief Justice has upheld the Madras High Court judge Anand Venkatesh to reopen the case. According to LiveLaw, the Chief Justice said, "Justice Anand was absolutely right in his observations. Thank God that we have judges like Anand Venkatesh in 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 the trial. It is a judicial power."