Madras HC refuses to stay corruption case against AIADMK's SP Velumani

The AIADMK leader was booked on charges of alleged irregularities in awarding contracts for construction work.
Former Minister SP Velumani wearing a white shirt
Former Minister SP Velumani wearing a white shirt
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The Madras High Court on Monday, June 27, refused to stay an FIR registered by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) against former Tamil Nadu Minister and AIADMK leader SP Velumani. The FIR was filed for alleged irregularities in awarding contracts for construction work. The Tamil Nadu DVAC had 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.

A division bench of the Madras High Court comprising Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala rejected an appeal by the former minister for an interim stay. The division bench directed advocate General R Shanmugasundaram to file a counter affidavit within three weeks against the petition of the former minister to quash the FIR. The court also provided time to advocate NS Elango representing DMK leader RS Bharathi and advocate V Suresh representing Arrappor Iyyakam, an anti-corruption outfit that first brought the irregularities to light, to file their counter-affidavits.

Arrappoor Iyyakam and DMK leader RS Bharathi had approached the court in 2018 to register a complaint of corruption against the minister. The court had appointed District Superintendent of Police R Ponni to probe into the irregularities in the contracts awarded to Greater Chennai Corporation and Coimbatore Corporations, and find out whether any cognisable offence was committed by the minister.

However, the minister was given a clean chit by the police officer in 2019 when the AIADMK government was in power and the government accepted the report. When the DMK government assumed office in 2021, the case was again raised, with the DVAC registering an FIR against SP Velumani after an adverse observation from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

The counsel for the former minister had contended that the FIR was registered with a malafide intention.

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