In a new development in the ‘disproportionate wealth’ case against Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) has stated that it is conducting preliminary inquiry into the matter.
Appearing before the Madras High Court on Tuesday, Advocate General Vijay Narayan informed the court that an investigation into the allegations of amassing wealth has been initiated and that the inquiry is probing OPS as well as his family.
The AG also informed the court that the investigation was ordered on July 18.
In March this year, the DMK had lodged a complaint with the DVAC, accusing Panneerselvam of corruption and bribery.
The Opposition party had alleged that the Deputy CM and his close associates have “amassed wealth beyond the known source of income and invested the same in companies and properties either in his name or in the names of others.”
“It is reliably learnt that Thiru. O Panneerselvam had invested money and bought properties in the names of his wife, children, brothers – Thiru. O Raja, Thiru. O Balamurugan and Thiru. O Shanmugha Sundaram and their families – and his business associates, including Thiru. R Subburaj and his wife Tmt. Uma Maheshwari,” read the complaint.
The complaint also referred to the diary entries by mining baron Sekar Reddy, which allegedly records the Deputy CM and his aides receiving close to Rs 4 crore in less than 6 months.
“He has thus rendered himself liable to be prosecuted under the Income Tax Act, Representation of People Act, Indian Penal Code, Prohibition of Benami Transactions Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act,” the complaint stated.
Accusing the DVAC of not having acted on a corruption charge against a public servant, the DMK filed a PIL in the Madras High Court. The PIL sought a probe into the ‘disproportionate assets’ amassed by the Deputy Chief Minister. A day later, the Madras High Court questioned the DVAC as to why no action was taken against the complaint.
Appearing for the DMK, senior counsel NR Elango cited the Lalita Kumari case and said that due procedures must be followed during the probe.
Recording the AG’s submission, Justice G Jayanchandran closed the petition and directed the petitioners (DMK and Arappor Iyakkam) to approach the court if they found fault with future investigations.
Justice Jayachandran also mulled the possibility of a CBI investigation since the DVAC had made no progress.