CHENNAI: In order to seek response upon corruption charges in a PIL by Arappor Iyakkam, an NGO, The Madras High Court, on Friday, issued notice to SP Velumani, Tamil Nadu minister for Municipal Administration.
The Two-Judge bench comprising of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and Rajamanickam while admitting the petition also issued notices to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) of Tamil Nadu, Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file their reply by January 23.
The division bench also on its own motion impleaded the Municipal Administration Department, Chennai and Coimbatore Corporations and added them as respondents to the case and affixed the case for hearing on January 23.
The PIL was filed by Arappor Iyakkam, an NGO alleging that SP Velumani has abused his powers by promoting cartelization and bid rigging, accompanied by evidence of unfair practices and corruption in awarding Chennai and Coimbatore Corporation tenders.
In the petition, the NGO alleged that the minister violated the Tamil Nadu Tender Transparency Act 1998 and the provisions of Competition Act 2002. He being a public servant had misused his powers and was involved in corruption and favouritism in awarding contracts pertaining to Coimbatore and Chennai Corporations thereby preventing others participation.
It was further claimed by Arappor Iyakkam that 188 tenders worth Rs 67 crore were awarded to a syndicate of six contractors owned and operated by people close to SP Velumani.
The NGO also sought on the basis of its complaint dated 12 September 2018, that the directions should be made by the court to DVAC to file an FIR after the approval from the governor and also the court to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to conduct a time-bound and court-monitored investigation into the allegations.