Tamil Nadu Governor stalls re-induction of Ponmudy into Cabinet

R.N. Ravi says as Ponmudy remains tainted of corruption, re-induction as Minister will be against constitutional morality 

Updated - March 18, 2024 11:44 am IST

Published - March 17, 2024 11:34 pm IST - CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudi. File

Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudi. File | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi has refused to re-induct senior DMK leader and former Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy into the Cabinet saying it would be against constitutional morality to do so.

In a letter to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, Mr. Ravi said it was pertinent to note that the Supreme Court had suspended the conviction by way of interim relief to Mr. Ponmudy. It only meant that the conviction, though existent, had been made non-operative and not set aside, sources in the Raj Bhavan told The Hindu on Sunday.

The offences for which Mr. Ponmudy was held guilty were very serious relating to corruption that he committed as a public servant. “As he remains tainted of corruption, re-induction as Minister would be against constitutional morality and hence, I am unable to accede to your request,” the sources quoted Mr. Ravi as saying in the letter.

Opinion of experts

On his return after a three-day visit to Delhi, Mr. Ravi replied to Mr. Stalin’s letter requesting time for the swearing-in ceremony of Mr. Ponmudy. He had sought opinion of legal experts whether inducting him back into the Cabinet would be correct when the conviction was not set aside by the top court. 

Mr. Ravi’s response comes a day after the State Law Minister said there would be no issues in the swearing-in of the DMK leader even after the announcement of the schedule for conducting the Lok Sabha elections. 

Mr. Ponmudy was disqualified as MLA after the Madras High Court sentenced him to three years in jail in a disproportionate assets case in December 2023. The Supreme Court had later stayed his conviction and sentence.

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