The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to review its ruling that the property in the name of an income tax assessee by itself cannot be a ground to hold that it actually belongs to such an assessee.

A Bench of Justices C.K. Prasad and M.Y. Eqbal dismissed the review petitions filed by former Tamil Nadu Ministers Suresh Rajan, Ponmudi and their family members holding that there was no merit.

The bench in January had said, “if this proposition is accepted, it will lead to disastrous consequences. It will give opportunity to the corrupt public servants to amass property in the name of known persons, pay income tax on their behalf and then be out from the mischief of law.”

The bench allowed appeals filed by the State of Tamil Nadu against a Madras High Court judgment discharging former DMK Ministers Suresh Rajan and K. Ponmudi and their family members in the disproportionate assets cases registered against them. While the trial court said there was enough material for framing of charge, on appeal, the High Court discharged the accused.”

The case against Mr. Rajan was that he was in possession of properties disproportionate to his known source of income to the tune of Rs. 23,77,950.94 while the properties of his father, mother, elder sister and his brother-in-law, it was found to be Rs. 17,58,412.47. In the case of Mr. Ponmudi and his sons it was found to be Rs. 3,08,35,066.97.

The court had said “We are of the opinion that this was not the stage where the court should have appraised the evidence and discharged the accused as if it was passing an order of acquittal.” The apex court had directed the trial court to proceed with the trial from the stage of charge in accordance with law and make endeavour to dispose of the same expeditiously.

The review petitions were directed against this judgment, which has now been dismissed by the same bench.

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