DVAC raids residences, properties of ex-AIADMK Ministers SP Velumani, Dr Vijayabaskar

According to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), raids are happening at 39 premises owned by the former Tamil Nadu ministers.
Collage of former ministers SP Velumani on the left and C Vijayabaskar on the right
Collage of former ministers SP Velumani on the left and C Vijayabaskar on the right
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Security has been beefed up at the residences of former Tamil Nadu AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) ministers SP Velumani and Dr Vijay Bhaskar as party workers staged a protest in front of the gates and became involved in arguments with police officials, on Tuesday, September 13. The latest development comes at a time when the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) officials started to inspect houses and properties owned by these two former ministers on September 13 based on the corruption charges lodged against them. According to a press release from DVAC, raids are happening at 39 premises owned by the duo.

DVAC registered a criminal case on September 12 against the Ex-Minister for Health and Family Welfare and presently Viralimalai MLA Dr C Vijayabaskar in a corruption case over irregularities in the “Issuance of Essentiality Certificate” in 2020. It was alleged that he issued a falsified essentiality certificate to the Thiruvallur based Vels Medical College and Hospital against the regulations of the National Medical Commission. Essentiality Certificate is issued by a state government certifying that the establishment of a medical college with a specified number of seats is feasible.

Based on the First Information Report (FIR) registered by DVAC, raids are being conducted at 13 places including five at Chennai, three at Salem and one each at Madurai, Theni, Pudukottai, Thiruvallur and Tambaram areas. Raids are being conducted at the premises owned by his friend, Dr Balaji Nadhan, at Pudhur - Jawaharpuram in Madurai.

Parallely, the DVAC is also conducting searches at 26 places linked to Ex-Minister for Rural Development and present-day Thondamuthur MLA, SP Velumani over allegations that he had abused his official position in awarding tenders injudiciously to his close associate companies causing loss to the government exchequer of approximately Rs 500 crore, in replacing the existing street lights with LED lights in rural areas during the period between 2015 and 2018. Raids are being conducted at 26 places including 10 at Chennai, nine at Coimbatore and seven places in Tambaram, Avadi, Trichy and Chengalpattu areas.

It is to be noted that in March this year, the properties of SP Velumani were searched for a second time by DVAC. The case was registered over disproportionate assets of Rs 58.93 crore. Further, a total of 10 officials including four IAS officers were found to be involved in illegally awarding contracts to firms linked with SP Velumani by DVAC sleuths.

Earlier last month, DVAC raided the properties of former AIADMK MLA (Namakkal) KPP Baskar and said that he had accumulated disproportionate assets to the tune of about Rs 4.72 crore and it is 315% over and above the known sources of income.

DVAC had already conducted raids at the premises of former AIADMK ministers, including MR Vijayabhaskar, C Vijayabhaskar, SP Velumani, KC Veeramani, Thagamani after the DMK government assumed office in 2021 and the opposition had alleged that the ruling front was resorting to political vendetta.

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