HC seeks detailed report from DVAC on Edappadi graft charges

By NT Bureau Published on Sep 12, 2018 02:47 PM IST

File photo of Madras High Court.

Chennai: Here comes more trouble for the ruling dispensation, which is already facing the heat over serious allegations against its ministers: the Madras High Court today sought a detailed investigation report from the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) on the graft charges against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.

When a case filed by DMK leader R S Bharathi came up for hearing, Justice Jagadish Chandra directed the director of DVAC to file a report on the probe conducted on daily basis. He then posted the case to 17 September for further hearing.

DMK counsel N R Elango told the court that government contracts have been awarded to firms owned by Palaniswami's relatives. However, advocate general Vijay Narayan denied the allegations and said all rules were being followed while allocating contracts.

Bharathi, the organising secretary of the DMK, on Tuesday insisted on a Madras High Court-monitored probe by a special investigation team into allegations of large-scale corruption in awarding of civil contracts by the Highways Department, a portfolio held by the Chief Minister.

In a counter-affidavit filed in court, he said DVAC sleuths were attempting to help the Chief Minister "get away with all his corrupt and illegal activities" by "concealing/shying away from placing all facts (related to the allegations) before this honourable court".

Edappadi K Palaniswami

Last week, the Madras High Court had directed the DVAC to file a report on the progress made on the complaint of corruption against Palaniswami.

Justice Jagdish Chandra gave the direction Friday when the criminal original petition from Bharathi came up for hearing. The petitioner had alleged that the Chief Minister misused his position as a minister during former CM J Jayalalithaa’s regime and now as the CM and awarded contracts for five road projects to his friends, benamis and close relatives. Thereby, he caused huge loss to the exchequer and enriched himself and others, said the petition.

He lodged a complaint with the DVAC 13 June, but the agency had not acted on it, he stated.