It is to be noted that Ponmudy was arrested on 6 October for violating rules in giving approvals to sand quarrying. And a search is on to capture his son Gowtham Sigamani, who is allegedly involved in the case. He is reportedly on the run.
This morning, special teams of the police department carried out searches in Ponmudy's house at Saidapet here and Villipuram, apart from the houses of his and his son's aides and relatives.
The police launched the search drive at 11 places including Ponmudy's brother-in-law Loganathan's house in Villipuram, retired Tasildhar Balu's house, one Sadhanandham's house in Pondicherry and his son-in-law Gopinath's residence,
Ponmudy's arrest earlier this month came a day after the Madras High Court rejected his anticipatory bail application, pointing out that that he had allotted a quarry to his son and others while in office, and that the complaints of loss to the exchequer due to excessive quarrying merited a detailed investigation.
The former Higher Education Minister, who also held the Mines and Minerals portfolio in the previous regime, was booked in connection with the allotment of a red sand quarry at Poothurai village in Vanur block to his son Gowtham Sigamani and five others.
The case invokes provisions of the Tamil Nadu Minor Minerals Concession Act and Prevention of Corruption Act, besides IPC sections pertaining to criminal intimidation, conspiracy and cheating.
The police alleged that the lessees indulged in gross violations of rules governing minor minerals. After surveying the quarry, Vanur tahsildar Kumarabalan had filed a complaint with the District Crime Branch that the lessees reportedly excavated beyond permissible limits thereby illegally prospected 2,46,646 units of red sand, causing loss of Rs 28.37 crore to the exchequer.