Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi K Ponmudy SC

SC Questions TN Governor’s Conduct For Not Appointing K Ponmudy As Minister

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi K Ponmudy SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned the conduct of Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi over his decision to refuse to appoint K Ponmudy as a minister in the state cabinet and said that he had defied the order of the top court.

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, along with justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, made these observations while hearing the Tamil Nadu government’s plea challenging the Governor’s decision to refuse to appoint K Ponmudy as minister in the state cabinet.

The court, while adjourning the matter for tomorrow, also remarked that if it doesn’t hear anything in a positive manner over the issue, then it may pass the order with certain observations.

CJI noted that Ponmudy’s conviction has been stayed by the top court and in spite of that, the Tamil Nadu Governor is not allowing him to swear in. The top court remarked, “Attorney General, what is your Governor doing, Please tell the Governor that it is going to make some observations now.”

The Supreme Court said that after the top court stayed Ponmudy’s conviction, how could the governor say that, Ponmudy’s re-induction as the Minister would be against constitutional morality?

CJI Chandrachud said, “We are seriously concerned about the conduct of the Governor in this case. We did not want to say it out loud in court but you are now constraining us to say that aloud.”

The top court commented that the Governor is defying the Supreme Court of India. The bench also remarked that when a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court stays a conviction, the Governor has no business to tell us that this does not wipe off the conviction and observed that those who have advised the Governor have not advised him correctly. Now the Governor better be informed that when the Supreme Court of India stays a conviction, then law has to follow its course, the court said.

The court was dealing with the TN government’s plea against the Governor’s decision refusing to appoint Ponmudy as minister. In the plea, TN Government has urged the top court to issue directions to appoint K Ponmudy as a Member of Legislative Assembly as a Minister of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Recently, Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi has refused to accept the recommendation of Chief Minister MK Stalin to appoint K Ponmudy as a minister after he was reinstated as an MLA.

The TN Government submitted that the letter of the Governor refusing to accede to Chief Minister’s request to appoint Ponmudy as the Higher Education Minister amounts to a blatant breach of Article 164(1) of the Constitution and is liable to be set aside. The TN Government said that the Governor is attempting to run a parallel government and is attempting to choose a minister as per his subjective assessment of suitability, which is impermissible.

Disqualified Tamil Nadu minister and DMK senior leader K Ponmudy was reinstated days after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction and three-year jail sentence in a disproportionate asset case on March 13, 2024.

Reinstating Ponmudy, the state legislative assembly speaker, M Appavu, has said he will continue as a member of the Legislative Assembly. However, the Governor has expressed his inability to appoint Ponmudy as a minister again.

Notably, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption registered a case against Ponmudy and his wife, Visalakshi, in 2011.

Ponmudy was also the minister for higher education and mines during the DMK regime from 2006 to 2011. (ANI)

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