Madras HC orders CBI probe against CM Palaniswami

In a major setback to the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court today ordered a CBI probe into allegations of corruption in award of road contracts by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami.

Justice A D Jagadish Chandira gave the direction on a petition by the DMK, after perusing the report filed by Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC). The court said it was not satisfied with the report and the action taken by THE DVAC on THE complaint lodged by DMK organising secretary R S Bharathi.

The judge then directed the vigilance agency to hand over all relevant documents to the CBI within a week.The central agency has to conclude the preliminary investigation within three months, he said, adding if prima facie case is made out it could proceed further.

The DMK has alleged irregularities and corruption in award of road contracts. It has accused Palaniswami of abusing his power and allotting projects worth Rs 3,500 crore to his relatives and ‘benamis’.

Earlier, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption had informed the court that no cognisable offence had been made out against CM Palaniswami in a complaint filed by opposition DMK alleging corruption in the award of road contracts.

Justice A D Jagadish Chandira ordered the transfer of the probe to CBI while noting that the court had not expressed any opinion on the case. The judge also noted that the order had been passed only in the interest of justice and to ensure free and fair investigation.

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