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ED Tamilnadu Action : Raids Minister K Ponmudy’s Premises, Discovers Cash Worth Over ₹60 Lakh

The raids were part of a money laundering case linked to Ponmudy’s tenure as the state mining minister from 2007 to 2011. (ED Tamilnadu)

Summary: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted raids at the residences of Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy and his MP son Gautham Sigamani, leading to the recovery of more than ₹60 lakh in cash, including ₹10 lakh in foreign currency. The raids were part of a money laundering case linked to Ponmudy's tenure as the state mining minister from 2007 to 2011, during which allegations of financial irregularities emerged. The ruling DMK party labeled the action as "political vendetta," while the opposition criticized it as an attempt to intimidate the party. The ongoing investigations and legal proceedings will have significant implications for Tamil Nadu's political landscape, highlighting the heightened political tensions in the state. (ED Tamilnadu)

Chnnai,17 July (City Times): The residences of Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy and his MP son Gautham Sigamani were subject to raids conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). These raids were part of an ongoing investigation into a money laundering case. The raids resulted in the recovery of more than ₹60 lakh in cash, including ₹10 lakh in foreign currency. These actions were part of an ongoing money laundering case. The ruling DMK party accused the ED of pursuing “political vendetta,” while the opposition viewed it as an attempt to intimidate the party.

Money Laundering Case: Alleged Irregularities During Ponmudy’s Tenure

The money laundering case is connected to Ponmudy’s previous role as the state mining minister between the years 2007 and 2011, during which allegations of financial irregularities arose. The allegations involve irregularities and violations of quarry license conditions, leading to a substantial loss of around ₹28 crore to the exchequer. A complaint was filed against the minister and his associates by the state police. In June, the Madras High Court declined to stay the trial, indicating a prima facie case against Ponmudy.

Accusations Against the Minister: Mining and Quarry Licenses

Ponmudy faces accusations of obtaining mining and quarry licenses for his family members, allowing them to exceed the permissible limits for extracting red sand. The High Court’s decision to proceed with the trial strengthens the allegations against the minister. These developments pose additional challenges to the DMK party and its leadership.

DMK Alleges Political Vendetta and Undermining Efforts

The ruling DMK party denounced the raids as an act of political vendetta, aiming to undermine the party’s resolve. The timing of the raids, coinciding with Chief Minister M K Stalin’s participation in the Congress-led Opposition meet in Bengaluru, suggests a calculated attempt to intimidate the DMK. Party spokesperson A Saravanan criticized the lack of similar actions against AIADMK leaders involved in corruption cases.

ED’s Recent Actions and Opposition Response

The ED’s recent actions include the arrest of Transport Minister Senthil Balaji in an alleged money laundering case related to cash-for-jobs. Chief Minister MK Stalin and the DMK party have labeled these actions as “intimidation politics” orchestrated by the central government. The party views the raids and arrests as attempts to undermine their efforts in challenging the BJP’s influence in the state.

What are the allegation against Ponmudy

The recent raid conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at the properties of Minister K Ponmudy is believed to be linked to a case filed against him and his son, MP Sigamani, in 2012. The case pertains to alleged violations of the Tamil Nadu Minor Mineral Concessions Act during Ponmudy’s tenure as the minister of mines and minerals from 2006 to 2011. It is alleged that Ponmudy allocated a red sand quarry in Vanur block, disregarding provisions of the Act and the Mines and Minerals Act. The violations include excessive mining beyond the prescribed depth, resulting in overexploitation of resources valued at approximately Rs 28.37 crore.

In 2020, ED conducted raids against Sigamani

In addition to these allegations, Ponmudy’s son, Sigamani, has also been named as the second accused in the case. Notably, in 2020, ED conducted raids against Sigamani, leading to the attachment of properties worth Rs 8.6 crore, which were reportedly linked to illegal acquisition and non-repatriation of foreign exchange earnings. It is worth mentioning that Ponmudy has faced previous charges related to corruption and land grabbing. However, he was recently acquitted in a case involving the illegal acquisition of government land in Chennai.

The ED’s raids at Ponmudy’s properties come shortly after the agency conducted a search at former Tamil Nadu minister V Senthil Balaji’s residence and properties. Balaji was later arrested in connection with an alleged job racket scam. These developments highlight the ongoing investigations into cases of alleged misconduct and impropriety, which aim to ensure accountability and uphold the principles of transparency and justice.

Significant implications for Tamil Nadu’s political landscape

The ongoing investigation and legal proceedings surrounding this case will have significant implications for Tamil Nadu’s political landscape. The accusations, counter-allegations, and power struggles reflect the heightened political tension in the state. The outcome of this case will shape the narrative and dynamics of Tamil Nadu’s political future.

Click to Read this news in Hindi.

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