The Madras High Court on Tuesday made it clear that the investigation of cases relating to the recruitment scam in State Transport Corporation allegedly involving ex-minister Senthil Balaji, has to go beyond lower level officials in order to find out the beneficiary of the bribe.
The judge also directed the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Central Crime Branch (job racketing) to take over the probe besides ordering the Deputy Commissioner of Police, CCB to monitor the investigation.
Passing orders on a petition by one of the victims, Justice P N Prakash said, "This court is of the view that it is the duty of the police to probe beyond the lower level minions and find out as to where the huge sum of Rs 2 crore has gone."
The matter relates to the Criminal Original Petition filed by one Gopi claiming that he had paid an amount of Rs 2 crore.
He paid 31 lakhs after being promised job in State Transport Corporation by one Ashokan and another Karthick, who claimed to be relatives of the AIADMK minister.
Gopi in his petition submitted that police had collected complaints from individual persons, but saw to it that the name of the minister did not figure in the complaint in order to shield him.
He further submitted that Devasagayam, on whose complaint the sole FIR was registered, has now somersaulted, because he has been won over by the accused.
When the matter came up today, the state government informed the Court that so far 81 were complaints were received so far and a total of 12 persons have been arrested in connection with the case.
Recording the submissions, the judge said, "In the considered opinion of this court, that cannot absolve an accused from criminal liability just because the de facto complainant had joined hands with the accused."
Gopi has merely stated that a sum of Rs 2.31 lakh was given to the minister during January and March 2015, but has not mentioned the date on which the amount was handed over, which is very crucial in a case of receipt of illegal gratification under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, he observed.
It also held that yet another FIR need not be registered, as police already have an FIR on a complaint dated April 4, 2015.
Earlier, the public prosecutor told the court that investigation into the case was going on in full steam and that Gopi would be added as a witness in the case.