Madras HC or­ders CBI probe against Tamil Nadu CM

DVAC had given a clean chit to Palaniswami

The Hindu Business Line - - NEWS -

The Madras High Court on Fri­day or­dered a CBI probe against Tamil Nadu Chief Min­is­ter Eda­paddi K Palaniswami on al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion in al­lot­ting State high­way con­tracts. The Court also di­rected the Di­rec­torate of Vig­i­lance and An­tiCor­rup­tion (DVAC), which probed the al­le­ga­tions and gave a clean chit to the Chief Min­is­ter, to hand over the en­tire case to the CBI.

To­day’s or­der by Jus­tice AD Ja­gadish Chandira comes three days af­ter the DVAC said that there is no ev­i­dence to prove any vi­o­la­tion by Palaniswami that was against World Bank guide­lines in al­lot­ting high­way con­tracts. Pe­ti­tioner RS Bharathi, Tamil Nadu Chief Min­is­ter Edap­padi K. Palaniswami

Or­gan­is­ing Sec­re­tary of the DMK, in his pe­ti­tion al­leged that Palaniswami, who also holds the port­fo­lio of State high­ways, had abused his power to al­lo­cate five high­way lay­ing and main­te­nance projects worth ₹3,500 crore to firms owned by his rel­a­tives and ‘be­namis’.

In its or­der, the Court di­rected the DVAC to han­dover the en­tire case pa­pers and files re­lated to the com­plaint filed by Bharathi to Joint Di­rec­tor, CBI (South Zone) within a week. The Joint Di­rec­tor, CBI, shall de­pute an of- fi­cer un­der him in the rank of a Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice who shall in­de­pen­dently con­duct a pre­lim­i­nary en­quiry afresh ex­am­in­ing the pe­ti­tioner/in­for­mant, World Bank of­fi­cials, and other per­sons con­nected with the projects men­tioned in the com­plaint and con­clude the pre­lim­i­nary en­quiry prefer­ably within a pe­riod of three months, the or­der said. If the pre­lim­i­nary en­quiry dis­closes of­fences of cog­nis­able na­ture, he shall reg­is­ter a case and pro­ceed in ac­cor­dance with law.

“Court once again makes it clear that this or­der does not ex­press any opin­ion in re­la­tion to the al­le­ga­tions made in the com­plaint. This or­der is passed only in the in­ter­est of jus­tice for en­sur­ing fair, rea­son­able and trans­par­ent in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” the or­der said. Wel­com­ing the or­der of the Madras HC, DMK leader MK Stalin urged Chief Min­is­ter Palaniswami to re­sign.

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