The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) told the Madras High Court that the initial probe into allegations of corruption against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has been completed.
The probe was conducted after DMK’s Organising Secretary RS Bharathi filed a complaint alleging large-scale corruption in the contracts awarded for the construction and maintenance of highways. Edappadi Palaniswami held the portfolio of the highways department until his elevation as the Chief Minister in February 2017.
As per reports, S Venkatachalapathy, Superintendent of Police, Special Investigation Cell, DVAC has submitted the probe report to the Vigilance Director and Commissioner. The investigating officer also informed the court that the complaint was taken up for inquiry on June 22 and that further action would be taken according to the recommendations made by the DVAC.
In his complaint filed in June, RS Bharathi had alleged irregularities in highway projects, including those overseen by the World Bank. The complaint stated that the Chief Minister awarded high value contracts – including the four-laning of the Oddanchatram-Dharapuram-
DMK’s complaint also names Chandrakanth Mahalingam, P Subramaniam, Nagarajan Seyyadurai and Sekar Reddy as the beneficiaries of the contracts.
Chandrakanth Mahalingam is Edappadi Palaniswami’s son Mithun’s brother-in-law while P Subramaniam is Mithun’s father-in-law.
The High Court had earlier rapped the DVAC for its inaction on the complaint and had said that under complaints under Prevention of Corruption Act, the probe is to be completed and the report must be submitted within two months from the date of lodging the complaint. The DVAC had the informed the court that the probe was going on and that it would submit the report at the earliest.