HC declines to quash case against former Puducherry minister



Chennai: The Madras High Court today declined to quash a case against former Puducherry Minister PML Kalyanasundaram over the alleged incident of attempted copying during a supplementary SSL examination in September last year.

Taking note that Kalyanasundaram, who was Transport and Education Minister in Puducherry between June 2011 and November 2011, had been cleared of the impersonation charge, Justice S Nagamuthu said "in my considered opinion there are materials available on record, which prima facie make out a case of conspiracy, which requires trial."

He had written the supplementary examination in Tamil Nadu and had allegedly given a false address in Tindivanam in Villupuram in Tamil Nadu.

While Kalyanasundaram's counsel contended that there was absolutely no material to even make out a prima facie case of conspiracy against Kalyanasundaram and therefore the case was liable to be quashed, the prosecution contested the claim stating that there was material available on record to frame a charge for conspiracy.

The Judge said "it gives an initial inference of conspiracy to do an illegal act." Preparations had been made to commit impersonation which, however, did not materialise as the person, who was alleged to have written the examination, at the last minute refused to write it

The judge also noted that one Adhavan, included in the list of invigilators without the knowledge of the district educational officer, had requested to be allotted hall No 14 where Kalyanasundaram wrote the examination.

"If the act agreed to be done is an offence, then the punishment for such conspiracy shall be as provided in IPC section 120-B(1)," the Judge said.

Justice Nagamuthu also rejected the contention that Kalyanasundaram had been framed as he belonged to a political party opposed to the AIADMK and that the case was the result of a political animosity.

"It is a matter for proof to be placed before the trial court at the appropriate stage. For the moment, I do not say that he has committed the offence of conspiracy. I only say that there are materials by way of documents and statements of witnesses to make out a prima facie case to frame charges for the offence under IPC section 120-B(2)."

The Judge directed the lower court to expedite the trial and complete it, preferably within three months.

The prosecution case was that Kalyanasundaram originally conspired with another person to engage a third person to impersonate him to write the examination. But at the last moment that person did not come forward to the write the examination. After the examination, there were complaints to the Chief Educational Officer that the petitioner did not write the examination himself.

During investigation, the answer paper was sent for examination by a handwriting expert, who concluded that the answer sheet was in the Kalyanasundaram's handwriting and that the allegation of impersonation was incorrect.

PTI