Tamil Nadu minister facing cheating case quits

Tamil Nadu Law Minister M Paranjothi, embroiled in a cheating case, resigned on Friday.

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Law Minister M
Paranjothi, embroiled in a cheating case, resigned on Friday and
Social Welfare Minister Selvi Ramajayam was sacked by Chief
Minister Jayalalithaa in the third cabinet reshuffle in seven
months since she stormed to power.

A day after police filed an FIR against him in connection
with a complaint by a woman doctor, who accused him of
cheating her of 60 sovereigns of jewels, Paranjothi quit the
cabinet less than five weeks after becoming a minister citing
`personal` reasons.

Paranjothi had won the October 17 byelection to
Tiruchirappalli West Assembly constituency, caused by the
death of minister Mariam Pitchai in a road accident.

"On the advice of the CM, the governor of
Tamil Nadu (K Rosaiah) has approved accepting the resignation
of Paranjothi, Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable
Endowments, Law, Courts and Prisons, for personal reasons and
dropping of Selvi Ramajayam," a Raj Bhavan communique said.
Former Minister B Valarmathi will replace Ramajayam while
Tiruppur North MLA MSM Anandan will handle the portfolio of
Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, it said.

School Education Minister C Ve Shanmugam has been given
additional charge of Tamil Official Language & Tamil Culture,
Law, Courts, Prisons, Personnel & Administrative Reforms and
Prevention of Corruption, hitherto held by Paranjothi.

The woman in her complaint had alleged that Paranjothi
had duped her after she gave gold jewels worth Rs 16 lakh for
his campaigning.

Tiruchirappalli judicial magistrate Pushparani in her
order last month had directed police to register a case on the
woman`s complaint and submit a report to it before December 9.

The newly inducted ministers will be sworn-in at a
ceremony in Raj Bhavan on Monday.

This is the third cabinet reshuffle of the Jayalalithaa-
led cabinet which assumed office in May after trouncing the
DMK. In the previous exercise on November 6, she had dropped
six Ministers and inducted an equal number, including
Paranjothi.

PTI

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