News Reading Practice #38

(100 Day Challenge)


HC suspends sentencing for 3 months; min stands disqualified


The Madras High Court on Thursday sentenced higher education minister K. Ponmudy and his wife P. Visalakshi to three years simple imprisonment in the disproportionate wealth case against him. Following the judgment sentencing him for more than two years, he stands disqualified from his MLA post and lost his minister’s post.

Justice G. Jayachandran, who gave the verdict, also suspended the punishment for 30 days to enable the convicts to appeal to the Supreme Court. The judge also imposed a fine of 50 lakh each on Mr Ponmudy and his wife and they will have to undergo six more months of imprisonment if they fail to pay the fine.

“This court on considering the nature of offense and the gravity and impact on society and also taking into consideration the submission of the accused impose imprisonment of three years and fine of Rs.50 lakh each,” the court said. “In default, six months simple imprisonment. I’ll grant 30 days for surrender”.

The court had on December 19 convicted Mr Ponmudy and his wife by dismissing the Villupuram Special court verdict in 2016 acquitting them from the case. They were accused of amassing wealth worth 1.75 crore, which is 65.99 percent more than their known sources of income when Mr Ponmudy was a minister of mines from 2006 to 2011.

Before the judge announced the quantum of punishment, Mr Ponmudy and his wife submitted their medical records citing their age and medical conditions.

The sentence disqualifies Mr Ponmudy from the legislative Assembly. According to section 8(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, a legislator convicted under the Prevention Corruption Act.


  • 3 years and a fine of 50 lakh each on Ponmudy, wife
  • The duo gets 30 days to surrender
  • Min accused of amassing wealth worth Rs. 1.75 crore more than their known sources of income.
  • Conviction after setting aside trial court’s acquittal

Higher education minister K. Ponmudy gets into a car after his sentencing by Madras High Court in a disproportionate assets case in Chennai on Thursday. – E.K. Sanjay 



Convicted DMK leader K. Ponmudy’s lawyer and DMK legal wing secretary N.R. Ilango on Thursday said an appeal would be filed in the Supreme Court seeking a stay for the conviction of Mr Ponmudy on the basis of several reasons. They include ‘latent bias’ since Justice G. Jayachandran who pronounced the judgment was a law secretary under the AIADMK regime and he has handled the files related to the freezing of assets in the case.


SENTENCED: Officially punished with a specified penalty, often involving imprisonment or fines.

SUSPENDS: Temporarily halts or delays a decision, action, or punishment.

DISQUALIFIED: Declared ineligible or unfit, especially for a particular position or activity.

IMPRISONMENT: The state of being confined to a place, typically as a legal penalty.

DISPROPORTIONATE: Not in proper relation or balance; exceeding the appropriate or normal size, amount, or degree.

VERDICT: The formal decision or finding made by a jury in a trial.

APPEAL: A formal request to a higher court to review and possibly change a decision made by a lower court.

IMPOSED: Placed or set as a burden, tax, fine, or penalty.

NATURE OF OFFENSE: The characteristic or type of wrongdoing committed in violation of the law.

SURRENDER: Voluntarily giving oneself up to authorities, especially in response to a legal demand or obligation.

CONVICTED: Found guilty of a criminal offense by a court of law.

ACQUITTING: Declaring a person not guilty of a criminal charge.

AMASSING: Accumulating or gathering, usually referring to wealth, assets, or a large quantity of something.

QUANTUM OF PUNISHMENT: The severity or degree of punishment assigned based on the nature and seriousness of the offense.

LATENT BIAS: Hidden or concealed prejudice that may influence judgment or decision-making.

REGIME: A government, especially an authoritarian one.

FREEZING: The act of making assets or accounts inaccessible, often as part of a legal process.