Tamil Nadu: Multi-crore Gutkha Scam Back To Haunt ADMK, CBI Files Chargesheet Against Former Health Minister Vijayabaskar, 2 Former DGPs

by Swarajya Staff - Nov 24, 2022 04:00 PM +05:30 IST
Tamil Nadu: Multi-crore Gutkha Scam Back To Haunt ADMK, CBI Files Chargesheet Against Former Health Minister Vijayabaskar, 2 Former DGPsDr C. Vijayabaskar
Snapshot
  • The case first came to light in July 2016 during the raids conducted by the Income-Tax Department at the residence of Madhava Rao of Jayam Industries (owner of MDM brand of gutkha) in connection with a tax evasion case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a supplementary charge sheet against former Health Minister Dr C. Vijayabaskar, former Commercial Taxes Minister B.V. Ramana, former Directors-General of Police T.K. Rajendran and S. George, and a few officials in a case related to the illegal sale of gutkha in the state, popularly known as 'Guktha scam')

The charge sheet was filed before a special CBI court in Chennai in the third week of November

In July this year, the DMK-led Tamil Nadu government granted the CBI's Anti-Corruption Unit permission to prosecute two former state ministers and eight other officers in the gutkha scam.

The case first came to light in July 2016 during the raids conducted by the Income-Tax Department at the residence of Madhava Rao of Jayam Industries (owner of MDM brand of gutkha) in connection with a tax evasion case.

During the raid, the I.T. department sleuths recovered a diary detailing the bribes allegedly paid to Vijayabaskar, Rajendran and George, who had served as Chennai Police Commissioner thrice, for allowing the illegal sale of tobacco-based products.

Jayam Industries is alleged to have paid the former Ministers, former IPS officers and other officials in the Tamil Nadu police, Greater Chennai Corporation, Food Safety Department and Commercial Taxes wing, among others, over ₹39.91 crores in bribes for facilitating the storage, transportation and sale of gutkha in Chennai city.

In 2013, the manufacture, storage and sale of the chewable forms of tobacco, including gutkha and pan masala, were banned by the Tamil Nadu government. It, however, continued to sell illegally across the state.

In Apr 2018, the Madras High Court had on April 26 ordered a CBI probe into the gutkha scam. The H.C. order was based on a petition by late DMK legislator J Anbazhagan.

In Sep 2018, the CBI raided the residences and premises belonging to Vijayabaskar and DGP Rajendran in connection with the gutkha scam.

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