CM Edappadi Palanisamy was objecting to the CBI and Revenue Intelligence being included in the probe over the ‘MLAs for sale’ sting.

CBI Revenue Intelligence cant probe Assembly proceedings TN CM files affidavit in Madras HC
news Law Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 16:57

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy is determined to keep the CBI and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence out of the probe into the sting operation conducted by Moon TV and Times Now.  

Days after DMK Working President and Leader of Opposition MK Stalin filed a petition in the Madras High Court asking that the two investigative agencies be brought in to probe the whole issue, CM Edappadi filed a counter-affidavit denying that they could have jurisdiction over the matter.  

In his affidavit, Stalin argued that the revelations of MLAs SS Saravanan and Kanagaraj revealed that the Vote of Confidence was vitiated by inducements and bribery of AIADMK MLAs. The affidavit stated that the giving and offering of bribes constituted offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Income Tax Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, and that the CBI and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence are the competent authorities to investigate these offences. The petition therefore sought that the two agencies be impleaded into the case.

In his counter-affidavit, Edapaddi claimed that the two agencies could not be impleaded into the case as they cannot investigate proceedings inside the Tamil Nadu Assembly. The affidavit states that since the main question raised in the original Writ Petition in the case concerns the powers and conduct of the TN Assembly Speaker, the two investigative agencies cannot therefore be brought into the matter.

“The present seeking for impleading of the 8th and 9th respondent, is traversing far beyond the scope of the writ petition since the 8th and 9th respondent cannot in anyway address the issue in question before this Hon’ble Court regarding the proceedings which took place inside the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on 18.02.2017 and as such, in view of the above, no case has been made out either in law or on facts for consideration of the above petition for impleading of the proposed impleading respondents 8 and 9, who are neither proper nor necessary parties to the proceedings in the above writ petition,” as stated in the affidavit.

Following the CM’s submission, the court postponed the hearing to next week.

The sting operation came to the Madras High Court’s attention on June 13, when DMK advocate Shunmugasundaram mentioned the matter before the first bench of the Madras High Court. This was the bench hearing a February 22 writ petition filed by Stalin challenging the validity of the floor test that confirmed Edappadi Palanisamy as TN Chief Minister.

Stalin had asked the court to declares Palanisamy’s Confidence Motion victory as illegal on the grounds that AIADMK MLAs were detained against their will, and made to vote in favour of the CM.

Th DMK had alleged that a majority of AIADMK MLAs were taken to a sea-side resort at Koovathur, 70 km from Chennai, and detained illegally – their freedom of movement curtailed to pressurise them to vote in favour of AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala in the Assembly. After she was found guilty, the DMK alleged, the detained MLAs – who were “under undue and unlawful influence” for over week – elected Edapaddi Palanisamy as the Chief Minister.