HC sets aside conviction of former Speaker in wealth case

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Chennai, Nov 19 (UNI) Madras High Court today set aside a lower court order, convicting former Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker Sedapatti R Muthiah and his family members in a disproportionate wealth case.

Allowing an appeal petition filed by Muthiah, his two sons and a daughter, Justice S K Krishan said the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond doubt and accounts submitted by the petitioners were satisfactory.

The prosecution case was that Muthiah, while discharging his duty as a Speakar of the state Assembly from 1991 to 1996, had amassed wealth to the tune of Rs 45,74,933 apart from his known sources of income.

The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Coruption (DVAC) registred a case and filed the charge sheet in a Special Court in Chenaai against Muthiah. The prosecution also arraigned his wife Sakunthala, sons Manimaran and Arivalagan and his daughter Malarvizhi as abettors.

The trial court convicted Muthiah and sentenced him and his sons to 25 months RI, and imposed Rs 5,000 fine. It awarded one year sentence and RS 25,000,fine to his daughter. However the trial court acquitted his wife from all charges.

Against the trial court judgement, Muthiah and his family members preferred the present appeal.

Muthiah, who was Speaker of the House in the previous AIADMK government, later joined the DMK party in 2006.

UNI XR VV SK RK1825

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