DVAC closes complaint against Chief Minister Palaniswami

The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) had earlier this month submitted separate “closure reports” for want of “substance” in two complaints of corruption, including one against Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami. The other complaint related to alleged corruption in the ₹1,950 crore BharatNet project.

State Public Prosecutor A. Natarajan on Tuesday informed Justice N. Sathish Kumar of the Madras High Court that the closure reports were filed as the DVAC found no substance in the allegations levelled by DMK MP R.S. Bharathi.

The DMK leader had alleged corruption in a ₹1,165-crore tender for a road maintenance project. The SPP said the petitioner had levelled unfounded allegations against the Chief Minister, who held the Highways portfolio. On “factual verification”, the DVAC did not find any substance and submitted a closure report to the government on June 1. “The tender was supposed to be opened only on June 1 but the complaint was filed on May 6 itself. At that stage, the petitioner could not allege corruption,” he said. Being an e-tender, anyone could participate in it irrespective of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The complaint in the BharatNet project was closed on June 2 as the petitioner had levelled charges before the tender document was opened.

During the hearing on the first case, petitioner’s senior counsel R. Shanmugusundaram sought time to get instructions. Hence, the judge adjourned the case to Thursday. The second case was also adjourned.

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