Chennai: Madras high court has directed the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) wing to file a report on the progress made on the complaint alleging corruption charges against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.
Justice A.D.Jagadish Chandira, before whom a petition filed by DMK organising secretary and Rajya Sabha member R. S. Bharathy, came up for further hearing on Friday, gave the direction to the DVAC.
In a petition filed Bharathi sought for a direction to the DVAC to register a case against Palaniswami in connection with corruption charges levelled against him for amassing wealth disproportionate to the known sources of income. Four weeks after the court slammed the DVAC and directing the wing to conduct a probe ‘as expeditiously as possible’ on a similar ‘disproportionate assets’ complaint leveled against Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam by Bharathi, the DMK leader filed the present plea before the court.
The petitioner submitted that on June 13 this year, the DMK had lodged a complaint with the DVAC, seeking a probe into ‘disproportionate assets’ allegedly amassed by Palaniswami. According to him, the Chief Minister had misused his official position as a minister when he served as a minister for public works, highways and minor ports during former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa's regime and now as the Chief Minister since February 2017 and awarded contracts for five major road projects to his friends, benamis and close relatives and thereby caused loss to the exchequer to the tune of several thousand crores of rupees and enriched himself and others. He lodged a complaint with the DVAC on June 13, but the agency, for reasons not known, had not taken any action on it. Bharathi alleged violating norms of the Transparency of Tenders Act 1998 that the contracts worth Rs 3,500 crore were awarded to Chandrakanth Ramalingam, related to EPS through his daughter-in-law, P Subramaniam, father-in-law of EPS’ son, and Nagarajan Seyyadurai, an alleged benami and they had benefited from contracts.During the previous hearing, advocate-general Vijay Narayan informed the judge that after holding the preliminary probe, the draft final report had been sent to the DVAC on August 28 last and it was up to the agency to take action.