Madras High Court Asks Anti-Graft Body To Speed Up Probe Into Tamil Nadu Deputy CM’s Wealth The Madras High Court

The Madras High Cout has asked the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to speed up its probe into complaints against the State Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) that he has amassed wealth beyond his known sources of income.

Tamil daily Dinamalar reported that Justice G Jayachandran, hearing two petitions that sought an enquiry into their complaints against OPS, told the petitioners that the doors of justice would always be open in case of any delay in the probe by the DVAC. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Rajya Sabha member R S Bharathi and non-governmental organisation Arappor Iyakkam had petitioned the High Court after their complaints to the DVAC did not get any response.

State advocate general Vijay Narayan told the court that on 18 July the DVAC had begun its investigation on Bharathi’s complaint. During the investigation, the complaint by Arappor Iyakkam would also be taken into consideration.

Bharathi, in his complaint, alleged that the income of OPS wife Vijayalakshmi was shown as Rs 78 lakh in 2016 against Rs 22.30 lakh in 2011. Vijayalakshmi was a home-maker and had no sources of income, he contended and charged OPS with having bought many lands and properties in Theni district. The DMK MP said OPS had also invested over Rs 200 crore abroad in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, the United State and Turkey.

Bharathi also pointed out the alleged entries made in the dairy seized by Income Tax authorities during their search operations at sand mining baron J Sekhar Reddy’s properties that a payment of Rs four crore had been made to OPS.

Justice Jayachandran, in the first hearing, observed why the court could not ask the Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate the complaints. It was after this that the DVAC began its investigation.

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