The DVAC was replying to a plea by DMK MP RS Bharathi who had alleged irregularities in road contracts awarded by E Palaniswami when he held the portfolio. 

No evidence of corruption by TN CM in awarding road contracts DVAC tells HC
news Corruption Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 09:34

The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) on Wednesday stated that it could not find any evidence against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami of violation of World Bank rules in awarding road contracts.

The submission was made before the Madras High Court on a petition filed by the DMK accusing Palaniswami of corruption. In the petition filed by DMK MP, RS Bharathi, the DMK had alleged that the CM had violated World Bank stipulated norms and had given road construction and maintenance contracts to his relatives and friends.

Advocate General Vijay Narayan, appearing for the DVAC submitted that the contractors were not close relatives of the CM and hence there was nothing wrong in awarding contracts to them. He also added that the contractors were in the business since 1991, implying that they had enough experience in undertaking similar infrastructure works.

Replying to the charge that the cost per km awarded to these contractors was high, Vijay Narayan said that the cost per km depended on various factors involved in constructing the roads. 

Since the petitioner asked for time to file a response to the points laid down by Vijay Narayan, the bench consisting of justice Jagdish Chandra posted the case for hearing on October 5.

RS Bharathi had, in June, alleged irregularities in highway projects, including those overseen by the World Bank. In his complaint, he had stated that the chief minister awarded high value contracts – including the four-laning of the Oddanchatram-Dharapuram-Avinashipalayam state highway, four-laning of the Tirunelveli-Sengottai-Kollam state highway, four-laning of the Madurai Ring Road, six laning of the Vandalur-Walajabad road and the maintenance of all state highways in Ramanathapuram, Thiruvallur, Krishnagiri and Virudhunagar districts – to his relatives and benami companies.

DMK’s complaint named Chandrakanth Mahalingam, P Subramaniam, Nagarajan Seyyadurai and Sekar Reddy as 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.

DVAC had submitted to the Madras High Court in the first week of September that it had initiated a preliminary probe into the allegations put forth in the complaint. 

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