The Department of Vigilance and Anti Corruption, Tamil Nadu, has appealed in the Supreme Court against a Madras High Court ruling ordering a CBI enquiry into the alleged corruption charges levied against state Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) over awarding of crucial highway contracts.
The High Court gave its ruling on a petition filed by M K Stalin, President of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), appealing against the vigilance department giving a clean chit to the Chief Minister.
The DMK has accused EPS of misusing his power and awarding contracts to his relatives as he holds the Highways portfolio. The four-lane road contract for Ottapnathiram - Dharapuram - Avinashipalayam highway was estimated at Rs 713.34 crore and was raised to Rs 1,515 crore and awarded to Ramalingam & Co which has one of EPS relatives as its Director.
Meanwhile, another contract for the Tirunelveli - Red Fort-Kollam project was offered to Venkatachalapathy constructions whose owner is also relative of the Chief Minister. Contracts worth Rs 4800 crore have been provided to companies with relatives of EPS onboard prompting the DMK to file a petition.
Since the vigilance department is under government control, the DMK appealed to the Madras Court to institute a CBI inquiry to remove any bias or attempts made to conceal vital information.