The Madras High Court on Monday directed the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to complete in 10 weeks its investigation in a case booked against former Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani of the AIADMK, for alleged irregularities in the awarding of civil contracts by the Greater Chennai and Coimbatore corporations.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu issued the direction while disposing of petitions filed by non-governmental organisation Arappor Iyakkam and DMK MP R.S. Bharathi in 2018. Advocate-General R. Shunmugasundaram requested the court to close the petitions since the DVAC had recently registered an FIR and commenced investigation.
The court also recorded the A-G’s submission that a copy of the preliminary inquiry report, submitted by the previous investigation officer in favour of the prime accused, during the AIADMK regime, could not be shared with the latter at the present stage of the probe, and a decision on sharing relevant documents could be taken by the trial court concerned only after completion of the investigation.
After the two petitions seeking registration of an FIR were filed in 2018, the High Court had ordered a preliminary inquiry by the DVAC, which gave a clean chit to the then Minister.
The investigating officer’s report was accepted by the State government too, and all further proceedings were dropped in January 2020. However, after the DMK came to power this May, the DVAC decided to register an FIR.