The allegations relate to the awarding of contracts to ‘benamis’ of the Minister SP Velumani in municipal corporations and government departments.

DMK moves Madras HC on graft allegations against TN Minister SP Velumani
news Scam Monday, October 01, 2018 - 18:07

The DMK has moved the Madras High Court, seeking an investigation into graft allegations against SP Velumani, Tamil Nadu’s Minister for Municipal Administration and Rural Development.

The allegations relate to the awarding of contracts to ‘benamis’ of the minister in Chennai, Coimbatore, Salem, Tiruppur and Tiruchirapalli City Corporations, Government of Tamil Nadu, Public Works Department, Chennai Metro Rail Ltd and Chennai Smart City Ltd.

In a petition submitted to the court on Monday, the opposition party has alleged that these ‘benami’ companies— P Senthil & Co, KCP Engineers Private Limited, Constromall Goods Private Limited, Vardhan Infrastructure, Constronics India, Aalayam Foundation Private Limited and Invicta Meditek Limited— purportedly owned by relatives and associates of SP Velumani have experienced an “astronomical increase in turnover” over two years amounting to crores of rupees.

Read: Govt contracts to brother, friends: The allegations against TN minister SP Velumani

The complaint reiterates the party’s letter to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) in September, that alleged that the minister allowed these companies to bid for the same tender, thereby flouting tender rules.

In a fresh contention, the DMK also states that the Public Works Department tasked the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation with the removal of hyacinth weeds in eight tanks between 2010 and 2017. However, the Kuruchi tank, not in the original list of eight was allegedly contracted to KCP Engineers Private Limited and Vardhan Infrastructure a total of seven times just in one year i.e. 2015. The DMK alleges that the PWD “communicated to the Corporation that no work for the improvement of the tanks took place and instead, the tanks had become a dumping ground for garbage, plastics and constructions.”

Monday’s petition, filed by DMK’s Organising Secretary and Rajya Sabha MP RS Bharathi calls for an investigation by a Special Investigation Team, while alleging that the minister has accrued disproportionate assets.

This is the DMK’s fourth complaint against a sitting minister of the Tamil Nadu cabinet. The DMK has previously sought action against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, and Health Minister Vijayabaskar.

As in previous complaints, the DMK has pointed to the DVAC not having called the complainant for a preliminary examination.

In its latest complaint, the party has also alleged that the anti-graft body was acting to shield its ‘political masters’.

Also read: DMK seeks DVAC probe into graft allegations against TN Min SP Velumani

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