Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi agrees to re-induct K. Ponmudy as Minister

Pendency of bills before Tamil Nadu Governor

Judges: D.Y. Chandrachud CJI, J.B. Pardiwala J, Manoj Misra J

In a quick three-minute hearing today, the Supreme Court heard the Attorney General R. Venkataramani’s submission on behalf of Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi. Venkataramani stated that the Governor has agreed to invite K. Ponmudy to swear in as a minister. 

Ponmudy was the Minister for Higher Education in Tamil Nadu, before the Madras High Court set aside the Trial Court’s acquittal in a disproportionate assets case in 2023. 


On 19 December 2023, Ponmudy was convicted by the Madras High Court in a case concerning assets that he and his wife had allegedly amassed which were disproportionate to their income.

On 11 March 2024, Justices A.S. Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan stayed the conviction, stating that “irreversible situation will be created if the conviction is not suspended.”

On March 17 2024, the Governor of Tamil Nadu refused to re-induct Ponmudy on the ground that the Supreme Court had “only suspended, not set aside” his conviction.

Division Bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud heard the Tamil Nadu government’s challenge against the Governor’s refusal to appoint a Minister in the State Cabinet. Appearing for the TN Government, Senior Advocate A.M. Singhvi argued that the Governor’s refusal despite the top court’s stay order was contemptuous and amounted to a violation of “constitutional morality.”

Attorney General: Tamil Nadu Governor meant no disrespect

“I was just virtually drawn into the thick of this application, not having been able to look into the matter”, Venkataramani said. He explained that the Governor “had the least intent to disregard or disrespect any order of the Court,” and that he had taken his view based on a certain understanding of the Supreme Court’s Judgement. At 3:30pm, a few hours after the hearing concluded, K. Ponmudy was sworn in

Senior Advocate A.M. Singhvi added that the Tamil Nadu government should not have to approach the Court to ensure that their decisions are carried out by the Governor. “It’s all sorted out, so we are happy,” the Bench said. 

“Parliamentary democracy survives because of your lordships,” Senior Advocate P. Wilson said.

The Bench indicated that the main case against the scope of the Governor’s duties under Article 200 will be heard after the Holi vacation starting from 25 March 2024. 


In the hearing yesterday, the Supreme Court had taken serious offence to the Governor’s letter where he had written that the Supreme Court “only suspended, not set aside” Ponmudy’s conviction in a disproportionate assets case. 

Justice J.B. Pardiwala had stated that once the Supreme Court had stayed a conviction, the Governor could not say that the candidate is still “tainted or that there is a blemish.”

Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had said “we are seriously concerned about the conduct of the governor in this case…This is not the way. He has defied the Supreme Court of India.”