Madras High Court 
Tamil Nadu

HC dismisses former TN Minister’s plea to suspend conviction

Chennai, Jan 11: The Madras High Court on Friday night dismissed a petition filed by former Tamil Nadu Minister P Balakrishna Reddy to suspend the conviction by a Special Court in connection with a stone pelting case of 1998.

Passing orders on the petition moved by Mr. Reddy against the special court order, Justice V.Parthiban dismissed it on the ground that the charges were too serious and the sentence cannot be suspended.

On January seven, Mr Reddy was convicted and sentenced to three year's jail term by a Special court trying cases against MLAs and MPs, in the stone pelting case of 1998, following which he had resigned from the Ministership as he attracted automatic disqualification under the Representation of People's Act.

He had filed a petition in HC seeking to suspend his conviction.

Earlier in the day, after hearing the arguments, Justice Parthiban said he would pass order on his plea for suspension of conviction in the evening.

When the appeal challenging the Special Court order came up for hearing, Mr Reddy submitted that apart from the evidence provided by a prosecution witness, there was nothing to prove the charges against the accused.

He also submitted that witnesses and evidences showed the charges against the first accused and not against him.

Pointing out that several onlookers were present when the incident took place and that Mr Reddy alone could not be blamed for the violence, he contended that his mere participation in the protest could not make him guilty of violence.

It may be recalled that after convicting and sentencing Mr Reddy to three years imprisonment, Special Court Judge J Shanthi immediately suspended the sentence to enable him to file an appeal in the High Court after he filed a memo to this effect.

In all, the court convicted 16 people, including the Minister, out of the 108 accused in the case.

It also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the former Minister.

The case pertained to stoning of buses at Bagalur near Hosur in Krishnagiri district in 1998 during a protestr Rally against illicit liquor.

Cases were registered against him under the Tamil Nadu Public Property (Prevention of damage and loss) Act for stoning government buses and causing damages to them.

However, following a memo filed by Mr Reddy, who was with the BJP then, stating that he would file an appeal in the High Court tomorrow, the Judge suspended the sentence to enable him to file the appeal.

Mr Balakrishna Reddy said the case was filed against him by the then DMK government in 1998 when he had participated in a protest rally for failing to curb the illicit liquor menace. (UNI)