Chennai: The Madras high court has reserved orders on a petition, challenging an order of the government, which directed the secretary of the Justice R. Regupathy Commission of Inquiry, which was probing the alleged irregularities in the construction of new secretariat at Omandurar Estate during the previous DMK regime, to hand over all the files, documents, evidences etc., collected by it to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC).
Justice Pushpa Satyanarayana reserved orders on the petition filed by DMK president M.K.Stalin, after hearing elaborate arguments from senior counsel P. Wilson, appearing for the petitioner and Pubic Prosecutor A.Natarajan.
When the case came up for hearing on Wednesday, referring to the submission of senior counsel Wilson that the government has not independently applied its mind while issuing the G.O and it had straight away directed the secretary of the Commission to hand over the records to DVAC to probe the issue, Public Prosecutor Natarajan submitted that the government has scrutinized or examined the materials submitted by the Commission and then directed the DVAC to conduct an enquiry and file a report. The government has not given any power to the DVAC to conduct investigation in the matter, he added.
Natarajan said the government has not granted any sanction as alleged by the petitioner. After going through the records, the government found prima facie materials and gave its approval to conduct an enquiry. For finding out prima facie case, there was no need to go through bunch of documents. A piece of paper was enough to find out whether there was prima facie case or not. It was only an enquiry. The non-mentioning of the word prima facie in the G.O will not make the G.O to be quashed. The intent of the G.O was to implement the order of Justice S.M.Subramaniam in the matter, he added.
He said a scam of Rs 629 crore cannot be left out just like that. A detailed enquiry has to be conducted. The persons involved have to appear and prove their innocence. The DVAC has not even commenced its enquiry. The petitioner name was not mentioned in the enquiry. The enquiry was at the preliminary stage. Merely on apprehension, the petitioner has come to the court, which should not be entertained, he added.
In his reply, senior counsel Wilson submitted that without applying its mind, the government has passed the G.O. By merely reading a piece of paper and without considering the materials, the government cannot accord sanction or approval to DVAC to conduct an enquiry, Wilson added.
In his order, Justice S.M.Subramaniam among other things, directed the Justice R.Regupathy Commission of Inquiry to ha-nd over the records to the state government, which in turn scrutinize the same and if prima facie case was found, then institute criminal prosecution....