Madras HC gives its nod to probe graft in smart city projects, ET RealEstate

June 23, 2023

CHENNAI: The Madras high court has given its go-ahead for the Tamil Nadu government to proceed with the corruption probe against former AIADMK minister S P Velumani and others in the multi-crore Smart City projects in Chennai.

The state cannot be barred from taking action on its preliminary report and the government should go ahead and complete the investigation, said the first bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Vijaykumar Gangapurwala and justice Adhikesavalu on Wednesday. The bench issued the direction modifying the court’s earlier order delivered in February 2020.

It all began with a complaint lodged by anti-corruption organisation Arappor Iyakkam alleging corruption to the tune of 600 crore in Smart City projects carried out in the city during the AIADMK regime in 2018 and 2019.

Arappor Iyakkam claimed that contractors were paid the price of river sand even though they used M-sand in the construction of stormwater drains. As many as 37 tenders were floated to lay roads as well as to construct stormwater drains and Arappor Iyakkam alleged involvement of then municipal administration minister Velumani and corporation officials.

Arappor Iyakkam also approached the high court for a direction to the state government to take action on their complaint in 2020. The case came up before the first bench for further hearing on Wednesday.

Tamil Nadu advocate-general R Shunmugasundaram cited a February 2020 high court order, which had barred the state government from proceeding with the investigation of the charges. Blaming the ruling for the delay in the investigation, he sought modification of the earlier order. Shunmugasundaram submitted that the DVAC had completed the preliminary inquiry of the complaint, but could not move forward due to the interim order of the court.

Acceding to the AG’s arguments, the first bench modified its earlier order, thereby allowing the state government to proceed with the investigation into the case.

  • Published On Jun 8, 2023 at 06:00 PM IST

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