Chennai: Within a short time of the state directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption (DVAC) police telling the High Court that it has already initiated 'preliminary inquiry' into corruption charges against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Leader of Opposition and DMK working president MK Stalin has demanded removal of the top cop probing the case.
“There will be no justice when the tainted investigate the tainted”, said Stalin in a press statement, pointing out that though the DMK had filed evidence of corruption against Chief Minister Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam, the DVAC, “led by an officer who is now under a cloud”, has not filed cases. “A clean IG-rank officer must take charge of the investigation”, he said.
“The cases against CM, Deputy CM and other ministers are not even moving at a tortoise's pace”, said the DMK leader. He also referred to news reports alleging attempts to scuttle the probe against Panneerselvam by getting Additional Superintendent of Police Thirunavukkarasu transferred from the TN Police Academy to the DVAC to take up the case even though he is due to retire in September.
Stalin's statement also cited the Supreme Court order confirming the Madras High Court directive to the CBI to take up the Gutka Diary cases in which health minister C Vijayabaskar allegedly figured. The minister's properties were raided by taxmen during April 2017, leading to seizure of a huge amount of money and incriminating documents, which in turn led to the Election Commission cancelling the RK Nagar by-elections, necessitated by the death of its MLA and then CM, Jayalalithaa.
“The Chief Secretary, State Vigilance Commissioner and the DVAC director should take quick and effective steps to place before the public the I-T department report on the raid on minister Vijayabaskar, besides taking action on that report”, said Stalin in his statement. He also said the DMK complaint to the DVAC against OPS should be investigated by a SP-rank officer “instead of an ADSP about to retire”.
The DMK has lodged complaints against both the CM and the Deputy CM under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). In June this year, the party had sent a complaint to the DVAC, alleging irregularities in the awarding of government highways contracts to relatives and benamis of CM.
In a disproportionate assets case filed against Panneerselvam in March, the DMK has accused the Deputy CM of having acquired “huge assets and wealth, either in his name or his family members' name or in the names of benamis, after his ascent to political power as MLA, minister, CM and now, Deputy CM”....