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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

TN Guv refuses to re-induct Ponmudy into State Cabinet, DMK to move SC, seeks Guv’s removal


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Chennau: Triggering yet another round of row between the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu and the Raj Bhavan, Governor R.N. Ravi has refused to re-induct senior DMK leader and former Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy into the Cabinet even after his conviction and 3 year jail term awarded by the Madras High Court in a disproportionate case, was stayed by the Apex Court.

Taking strong exception to the Governor’s refusal on a request made by Chief Minister M.K.Stalin to re-induct Mr Ponmudy back into the Council of Ministers, the DMK on Monday termed the Governor’s act as a conempt of court and demanded his removal.

Senior Counsel and DMK Rajya Sabha MP P.Wilson said the DMK will move the Supreme Court against the Governor refusing to re-induct Mr Ponmudy into the Cabinet.

Mr Stalin’s had sent a letter on Wednesday to the Governor seeking to re-induct Mr Ponmudy into the Cabinet, and the swearing-in ceremony was expected the next day.

However, the Governor left for New Delhi on a three-day visit on Thursday morning, apparently to consult legal experts as the Apex Court had only suspended the conviction and sentence for an interim period and has not totally set aside it.

Upon his return to the city on Sunday evening, the Governor in his reply to the Chief Minister’s letter, said that he refused to re-induct Mr Ponmudy into the Cabinet, saying it would be against constitutional morality to do so.

In a letter to Mr 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, Reports quoting Raj Bhavan sources said.

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,” Mr. Ravi was quoted as saying in the letter.

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